Calvin's Train of Thought

Who do I Want to Be? - September 27, 2020

I think, for a long time, I have had this notion that I will change eventually. In my mind, there has been this picture of “Calvin the Scholar” and “Calvin the Man of God” - a picture of a man devoted to studying the scriptures and living them out. There is also a picture of a man following the ideals I hold - a certain degree of practical minimalism (ie, living with less and not pursuing the dream of buying more and more and more and…), of relying on a bicycle to get around, of knowing and loving my neighbors…

For half my life, I imagined that I would somehow transform into this person, though I was never sure how. And in truth, I still believe this is the person I want to be. But here I am at 32 years of age and - in many respects - I am little different than the 24 year old who graduated Bible School - though perhaps a bit heavier and a bit more cynical. Before I finished high school, I imagined that I would SOMEHOW get my act together before I went to Bible School… by the time I was in Bible College I certainly didn’t have things together like I imagined I would. And so, the ball got punted further down the line - figuring that somehow by my 30’s I would have these things together and figured out…

To be fair to myself, I tried in the interim to “get things together”, which usually wound up going nowhere. A big problem is that I tried to make grand sweeping changes all at once - but as I have figured out, we are ALL resistant to change. Heck, even our bodies resist change - as I understand it, crash diets or periods of starvation tend to result in epigenetic changes that make losing weight even harder.

But the fact that I have not grown into the man I want to be has been driven home for me as of late as I have dabbled in the online dating scene. In particular, when I do find the sort of women I am looking for, it becomes painfully obvious as I read their profiles that I am not the man THEY are looking for. There was a book by a famous pastor (cannot remember his name, nor the title of the book) about becoming the man that the woman you are looking for is looking for. And as I look for a spouse, the fact that I am NOT the man I desire to be has made itself plain.

So what do I do? Lament my situation and sit here whiling away my days playing Minecraft? Ou de mia! Zicher nicht! By no means! As Mike Perschon once said in a campfire talk, “You want to read your Bible? Just do it!” You want to be a Bible Scholar? Then go and do it! I need to break down the attributes of who I want to be, figure out which pieces are cumulative and make a plan of attack for how I am going to get there. And… some of the time it is going to suck. There is no magical set of inspirational words that are going to get this change done. It is going to be done, by the grace and support of Christ Jesus, one small step at a time.

And the first step, upon which every other aspect of who I want to be rests, is found in Jesus. “For no one can lay any other foundation than that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11 WEB).