Several years ago I read a book called “The Alchemist” because it was suggested to me by a friend. I was reluctant to read it because I typically don’t read fiction. But, he was insistent that it was well worth it.
“The Alchemist” is a modern day parable. The strength of the book is how it begins and ends. In the beginning, the main character is laying on the ground, staring up at the stars, dreaming about traveling the world. At the end, the main character is once again laying on the ground, staring up at the stars, but this time, he’s reminiscing about all the adventures he had while traveling the world. The point of the story seems to be this: even though he’s in the same place, doing virtually the same thing, he’s been changed because of the process he went through.
Over the past few years this has become a beautiful picture for me as I think about the work God is doing in each of us. When we’re pursuing God and asking him to shape us into who he wants us to be, often our circumstances don’t change but our hearts do. We might be in the same place, experiencing the same things, but we’re changed because of the process we’ve been through.
For instance, I took each of these pictures on a Friday night walk with Katie and Eden. But, they were taken exactly one week apart. Even though I was with the same people, doing the same thing, at the same time of day, I was different a week later because of a retreat me and Katie were able to go on between the pictures.
Think about it, what have you experienced in the past that has shaped you into who you are today?