Happened to look at an old picture this morning that was taken in the early 80's on a trip to Bermuda. There I was with my Italian Horn necklace and for the only time in my life, a hair perm. Literally I looked like a cross between a mobster and someone off the set of Saturday Night Fever. Though I could never dance like John Travolta, the image conjured up memories of that era and just how dysfunctional I was.
So I thought of how different my life is now, other than just the aging, there is so much that has changed. But inside, I am the Same Guy, with a Different God!
Though we are transformed in our walk with God over the years, there are still many of the same traits, looks and actions now that I had then. Same hair (a little whiter), same teeth (some swapped out), same accent (a little twang now), same heart (I was always generous), and we could go on, but not the same gods running my life. The drugs, alcohol and other minor addictions have given way to an enlightenment that they were all empty gods. Even my devotion to sports (yes, that can be a god too), is less. Like Solomon said, "a chasing after the wind".
Now my necklace has a cross on it, my hair won't curl (what was I thinking), and my soul has a new God. A soul can be transformed, but the other parts of us, even some we wish would go away, remain and we must "work out our salvation daily" which includes battling those demons that followed us around for so many years. They are like those gopher pop-ups you have to hammer down when you visit Chuck-E-Cheese. Yes, you can knock them down, but they keep popping back up to remind us that the devil never quits trying to make us go backward.
So many folks have said to me, God totally changed my life and my heart, only to see them go right back to the old ways because they didn't really understand the process. The Lord can change any heart, transform a soul, but it is up to us as his children to keep working at it every day to stay on track.
As AA says, "Keep coming back, it works if you work it".
It's quite okay to be the Same Guy, but not okay to keep the same gods. They will eventually bring you back down. The only solution is to make that Different God the Lord of your life, not just a supreme being who waves a magic wand to fix us. Not just a Santa Claus but a being that can bring us real change of heart, change of soul.
That Different God is Jesus Christ, he is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is the Same Guy who walked on this earth to show us the way, the
Same Guy who deflected everything away that got in between he and God.
Even He had to work on it, every day!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.