After last night's tile-0-rama stretching to midnight, we went directly to bed, exhausted...I woke up this morning with tile dust on my head (I'd say in my hair, but, well, you know...) & caked in my ears. My arms were a little sore from wrestling the saw and my fingers were cracked from clawing at the tile.
Making the obligatory stop at the coffee pot, I stumbled into the shower and watched the proof of last night's work dissappear down the drain between my toes. Soap and hot water worked their magic and when I shut the water off, I pulled back the shower curtain and stepped out feeling like a new man.
But I wasn't.
I was the same, sorry 5 foot, 5 inch, shaven head, double pierced guy who got in the shower, minus some gunk. I felt completely refashioned, when in reality, I'd just been cleaned up. Then, a few hours later, I reached up behind my ear and found a pile of dust that somehow survived the shower. So much for being a new man.
It got me to thinking about oft-quoted verse in 2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things become new. How many times have we read that, assuming we have been completely changed and retro-fitted with some superspiritual armor, only to have our head handed to us days into the battle?
What good is becoming a new creation if it acts pretty much like the old creation? Is Me 2.0 much different than Me Beta? Yes. and No. We read 'creation' and immediately assume He makes us a 'finished work of art'. God looks at it a different way....when you come to Him, He makes you a new creation, but that creation is a work in progress. The most common use of that word creation is in reference to creating - not so much a finished piece of art as a long term project that God has set His hand to. We're a painting on the easel, not in the frame.
A friend of mine who leads many into a walk with God often tells people "Don't tell people 'God changed my life'...no one who knows you will believe that, although it's technically true. Say 'God is changing my life'. It speaks of hope yet explain why you're going to screw up."
All that to say that upon the act of giving yourself to God, God in turn starts making in you what would not have been had you kept yourself from Him. You become His handiwork, His soft lump of clay, His great opus.
I am grateful for the finished work of the cross - that salvation is ours to be sure of and celebrate. I am also thankful that God is looking at me as a long term project - that His creative work in me is not yet done today, and that what I will be is yet to be revealed.
Take heart. The Artist of the Ages is still putting the finishing touches on you, and the light is perfect for Him to work today.