Do the situations we face make us into who we become or simply chip away the extra to get to who we have always been?
I realize it’s a question nearly on the same level as “Which came first – the chicken or the egg?” (Although I’m fairly certain it was the chicken.) But I’ve been mulling it over lately. Am I shaped by my experiences, or am I revealed through my experiences?
Maybe you don’t care. I mean, does it really make a difference?
Probably not, in the big scheme of things. After all, don’t I have a responsibility to respond well to every situation I face? Everything I decide to say? Every thought and attitude I have? Regardless of who I am or what I’ve experienced, I am constantly faced with choices and responsibilities. Do they more reflect who I am or make me into who I am?
I don’t get to say, “It’s just who I am.” Well, I could say it if I wanted, but I find most people use the line as a justification to something they don’t want to change. It’s a defensive stance. Instead, my thought process goes something like, “Hmm. I have a bend to __________, but I’m not sure that’s the best option here. Deep breath. Consider my options. And even when I don’t want to, maybe I need to try something a little different.”
It’s called a filter. It’s not intended to get me stuck in a constant cycle of “what if.” It’s just a pause before a decision, because I’ve learned that knee-jerk reactions don’t often end well.
I know God created me with certain dispositions and such, but as stubborn as I can be, I don’t want to assume He wants to leave me the exact way He created me. He knows what’s coming and what I need for those situations, so I trust I’m well-equipped, but I’m also confident He wants me relying on Him through the process, which means being humble enough to let Him smooth off the rough edges. It’s not always comfortable, but it’s worth the willingness.
After all, if I’m not willing to be pliable enough to change, how am I ever going to keep up with the purpose of life on earth? Limited time calls for intentional obedience.