Behaving like twenty years ago is not unusual; strange perhaps, bizarre on some level, but well within the bounds of our normal range of behavior. I catch myself in that state, like yesterday, and wonder if I have learned or growth in any tangible way. I know the answer to my question is yes but then the follow-up query hits a little to close to home. Does this mean you refuse to let go?
As I look in my closet, I find a few precious t-shirts, a pair of walking/work shoes, and other bits that span the years and wonder if I know why they are still there. When I take an inventory of my habits, I see dozens of annoying responses that I thought I swept out years ago! When I examine the “instant response” memories that trigger sarcastic comments I find too many that I could have easily forgiven and let go a long time ago. Progress and growth as not destinations, even though it would appear from my examination and search that I continue to treat them this way!
My relationship with God is very different from one year ago, especially different when I go back four or five. I see areas of dependence and reliance that are deeper and more faith based than at any time in my life. If I am honest, I also see some large sections of my values that cling to old habits and perspectives. I trap myself in the continual daily routines, struggles, and pressures of living out life.
I am waging the struggle to see God and sweep out the old. On good days, I realize the reality of Paul’s words. “But now that we’re no longer shackled to that domineering mate of sin, and out from under all those oppressive regulations and fine print, we’re free to live a new life in the freedom of God.” (Romans 7.6)
We can be free! I want to live! Every old reality, memory, behavior can be replaced by a new experience coming from God’s freedom.