Kathleen Leslie, a fellow staff member at Nativity (her blog), has just posted about "Old Kathleen" and it got me thinking about what "Old Brian" might sound like. Journeying back to February 23, 2008 would be a real hike and I don't have that kind of time. But I do want to take a minute to compare the two dates through the lens of our current message series.
Our pastor preached about feeling opposed in life and how striving to make personal improvements was like fighting in a battle. In February of last year I was doing all that I could do just to get by (financially, emotionally, spiritually) and it really did feel like a war. I was trying hard, really hard, setting goals, drawing limits, making promises, starting (but not finishing) books, and reflecting on my life. All the while I was only getting more and more tired and not having any success at all!
Comparing 2/23/08 and 2/23/09, there is one HUGE difference. I was alone. I was doing all those great things, the things that they list in self-help books, and plenty of not-so-great things, but I was on my own... I was isolated and trying to self-will some serious life change. Today, I'm not alone. I've got support, I've got family, I've got friends, (I've got a Small Group,) and all of that is true because I've come to recognize that I can't do it on my own. Last year I was opposed, and today I'm opposed; the difference maker is that today I've got an army ready for battle, and it feels great. I was never supposed to do this by myself, and honestly I never could... I'll still be opposed tomorrow, but together with you and with the grace of God I know it can get better.