It’s all about God.
But that doesn’t really help me understand my place in it all. The reality, or at least how it helps me to perceive it, is to realize that it’s all about what kind of person I am going to be.
I was created in God’s image…just how much like Him am I going to be? It’s up to me, I’ve realized. It’s up to you; it’s up to us, you see.
All of us mar His image in us; none of us can leave it intact or grow to reflect Him accurately (depending on your position on original sin). But having accepted His Son’s costly gift so freely given, what’s left is for me to live out the reality of both 1) who I was created to be, and 2) who it has been declared that I am.
This is important stuff, you see, I have to teach my children what it’s all about. Because I’ve been trying to figure it out for the past 18 years very specifically, and more generally for the last 21, and in a much more unspecific manner, for the last 32 years (I’m 36, about to turn 37).
Somehow, in 36 years of sermons, sunday school lessons, bible classes, bible college, christian university and higher education I missed what it’s all about. I don’t think I missed it actually, because I’ve been paying peculiarly attentive attention.
One thing that encourages me greatly is that over the last year or so I’ve begun realizing the deeper significance of truths I was taught at a very young age. It is enormously refreshing to realize that it’s not new, arcane, long-hidden truths that I need, but a better understanding of those I was taught from a very young age.
My dad taught Romans to the 3rd grade class at Roanoke Baptist School. To this day, I’ve not read nor heard better fundamental explanations of Paul’s magnum opus than those my father shared with us at age 8.
But I think my teachers (my parents included) were teaching me truths that they didn’t fully comprehend. They called these things true but did not understand their significance…so how could they pass that along?
The law, the prophets, the psalms, the gospels, the epistles—they’re all there to help us choose to be like God. Am I going to keep my word? Am I going to love my neighbor? How about the neighbor that is different than me? How about the neighbor that interprets the Bible differently than I do? Am I going to take care of my family? Am I going to work diligently? Will I add beauty or ugliness to this world? Will I be like my Father in Heaven? Will I be like His only Son?
What choices will I make? Who I am is the sum of the choices I make. Each single, solitary right choice makes me different from the moment before—more like my Father.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.
– The Apostle Paul, Ephesians 5:1 (ESV)