Defending the faith, encouraging others in their faith, watching the Lord bring others to faith; these are the things a Christian apologist yearns to do and see. From the moment we’re saved, sanctification is taking place in us as the Holy Spirit works on our weaknesses, molds us into someone more like Jesus, and gives us the ability to look back on our walk. I don’t know about you, but looking back on my walk is both an encouragement and a disappointment.
Yes, God pulled me from the pit of human depravity, and yes, I can see that I am more like the person I ought to be than I was on day one, BUT I’m still human and I still fail on a daily basis. Having children in our family has amplified that awareness. Those failings are a reminder of my need for reliance on Jesus and they help me to focus on improvement for future days.
So today I’m writing a letter to my future self. My hope is that in doing so, you may find similar longings within yourself and perhaps be encouraged to pen your own “future self” letter. Maybe it will help us have better focus in the coming year if we consider who we’ll be someday down the road. Perhaps it won’t. But it’s worth a try, isn’t it?
Dear Future Self,
Hey, Self. It’s Old Self. You’re probably cringing a little bit as you read this, since you remember all the mistakes I made and all the choices I made that still follow you around today. But I’m not here to remind you of the bad stuff. I just wanted to let you know I’m optimistic about your trajectory.
There’s a capacity in you for becoming more understanding, more kind, and better able to maintain relationships. I expect that you’ve gotten even better at holding your tongue and minding your temper and reading the room. I expect that that has caused your parenting and your wife-ing to feel more natural, possibly allowing you to refuel more readily and make more time for the Word.
It must be true that you’ve expanded your mind to challenge preconceived ideas and to redevelop them until they’re more full and founded in truth. And even though you have grown in this way, and you have given greater thought to these things, you’re better at being slow to answer and quick to listen, so your newfound wisdom doesn’t make you pretentious or condescending. Mostly, anyway. Future-Future Self can work on perfecting that one.
By now you’ve probably learned how to manage your time better, and the projects that I see sitting on the shelf beside me – full of promise but largely untouched – are likely sitting on the table in front of you, completed objects that reflect dedication and service to the Lord. Imagining them completed on your end makes it easier for me to begin the process of starting them on my end.
But you already know that.
So before this gets weird and turns into some kind of “name it and claim it” exercise – which I know you 100% still hate – I just wanted to say I look forward to meeting you. I look forward to being the one who gets to look back and see the progress that has been made, rather than the rough path that lies ahead. Keep on doing the hard work, and keep on doing the Good work, and keep on looking forward to the day when you hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Current (Old) Self
P.S. Seriously, is there ever going to be a Battlestar Galactica movie reboot? Does that ever happen, or am I just going to be Future Disappointed Self in 10 years?