“I have not become the person that God envisioned when He rescued me.”
Decades ago I worked with a young man on a fire fighting crew who was wild and then some. We worked at a wilderness fire station that was 10 miles from the nearest road and 25 air miles from Tucson, Arizona—at the top of Mica Mountain. One afternoon this young man left work early, hiked 10 miles down to the trailhead, caught a ride into Tucson, went to a Rolling Stones concert, drank, partied, smoked everything that was handed to him, caught a ride to the trailhead, hiked back up on top of Mica Mountain without sleeping, showed up at the spot where he was supposed to be building hiking trails, and slept under a poncho for 10 hours—passed out on the forest floor and dead to the world. We woke him up and hiked back to the bunkhouse and he passed out for another 10 hours.
Today this man is a very respected, accomplished, and responsible man in the US Forest Service. In the intervening years he was transformed. He became a different person.
God is determined to make me like His Son. Since I am not yet like His Son I need to be transformed.
I believe that transformation is of major importance to God and therefore should be to us. I believe that God values transformation to a degree that we do not fathom—not even close.
God is mostly working on the transformation of our relationship with Him and the transformation of our character. But He is also working on the transformation of our cultures and our institutions and our relationships and our nations and our very planet (which is trapped in the bondage of sin.)
God is so committed to transformation and we are often committed to getting, having, doing, imaging and experiencing. Evelyn Underhill in The Spiritual Life said:
“We mostly spend those lives conjugating three verbs: to Want, to Have, and to Do. Craving, clutching, and fussing, on the material, political, social, emotional, intellectual—even on the religious—plane, we are kept in perpetual unrest: forgetting that none of these verbs have any ultimate significance, except so far as they are transcended by and included in, the fundamental verb, to Be: and that Being, not wanting, having and doing, is the essence of a spiritual life.”
Being is the essence of a spiritual life and being like Jesus is paramount in the spiritual life. Therefore transforming is an indispensible process in the spiritual life.
I am not yet being the person God envisioned. Therefore I must be transforming. But am I being transformed? Am I submitting myself to transformation? Am I taking initiative to catalyze and nurture my own transformation? Do I even value transformation or have I gotten seduced by wanting, having, and doing?
Please give this question some reflection and prayer: “Am I actively transforming?”