Today's photos are from my senior year of college.
When I returned from spending my junior year of high school in Denmark, I felt like a body snatcher. There I was right back in my old life, my old school, my old family - and yet here I was, a completely transformed person, for whom very little about that old life made sense. For awhile, I could still remember who I was before I left. For awhile, I was still connected to that pre-Denmark girls. For awhile, If needed, I could do a pretty good impression of her. Nowadays I don't think I would recognize her on the street.
Then, in the summer after my junior year of college, I went through another huge transformation. I completed the Landmark Forum and my whole life changed. Again, I returned back to Yale and found a life that I no longer recognized. And again, four years later, I hardly know that 18 year old pre-Landmark person.
Today, I'm moving through yet another transformation. Roughly one year ago my existing way of thinking and moving through the world began to crumble around me. Jesus came breaking into my life, revealing the inadequacy of my work, the inadequacy of my integrity, the inadequacy of my life. I, with all my idealism and optimism and energy, would never deliver the world from suffering. We would never deliver the world from suffering. No critical mass of human-driven change would ever deliver the world from suffering. God would do that, through the passion of Jesus Christ. God had in fact already-and-not-yet done that. My work is not to deliver the world. It is to love God, love my neighbor, and follow Jesus.
Today, as I look through these pictures from graduation, I still recognize that woman looking back at me. I know how she thinks, I know what she hopes for, I know who she plans to be. And yet, she's fading fast. The pillars of that old self are collapsing one by one and, like an avalanche, the collapse is picking up speed. Soon there will be nothing left of that old self; nothing, that is, except these pictures.
p.s. There won't be a real post this Friday, just a little Thanksgiving greeting. I'm going to be resting with my family, cultivated gratitude, and reflecting on God's goodness. Whatever your schedule is like this week, I hope you find a few moments to steal away and dwell in a Sabbath space, away from all toil and restlessness.