Do you ever take time to look back at what all your life has accomplished? I can think of quite a few struggles that, at the time I was facing them, seemed absolutely insurmountable. Yet here I am today, not overcome, and continually resolute to remain that way.
I look back on the times before I knew Jesus Christ. Before I really knew him, and there is such a staunch difference between how easily I am able to overcome the things in my life that hold me back from true freedom and my lack of ability before. So many doubts and insecurities--now completely dissolved with the knowledge that a God came to this earth as a man so that I could be counted righteous. I'm holy. Me. This nut-case who deems herself despicable and disgusting so often. Yes. I am holy because I have chosen to serve the One who called me to such a standard.
And then I look at the world around me. Not the whole world, but the world in which I was raised and have grown. I have had so much access to the kingdom of God since I was child, through my family, school, and whatever else filled my time. Basically, I grew up in a very Christianized setting. Some people might scoff at this and recommend that is the reason I have acquired these beliefs of mine, but I would argue against that. I have seen the worst of Christianity. I have seen hypocrites. Lived with liars. Befriended thieves and cheaters, and all the while knew of their "relationship" with Christ.
But I've also seen another side. One marked with compassion and truth. One of a genuine spirit that gives off an aroma of righteousness. I know this spirit, and I knew it long before I met many of the people marked by its presence. I knew it from the Scriptures I grew up reading alongside all the fakes and phonies. Even if I haven't always witnessed it, I have now.
And for that, I appreciate Christianity. Even if I wasn't a believer, this whole faith has been the definition of my life. My friends, my schools, my hobbies--so many have been in this Christian setting. So much of who I am is based on who Christ was.
I'm looking back to what I have been in the past, not to be sentimental or regretful, or even to hold onto a visage of something that once was, but so that when I look forward I can better understand the distance between the two. The gap is spacious and the grace is wide. I'm not here because of me. I'm here because of the countless people who have crossed my path, sharing little by little this Message that turned out to be true. I'm here because a man lived over two thousand years ago professing to be something that all the other men around him couldn't deny. He changed me. He accomplished what I never could. I guess that's why he named himself 'Savior'. I guess that's why it's good to look back at the past.