We are told that the people of Paris were capable of so much more than they appeared in the time of leisure on the Champs Elysees. The 100-days of Napoleon had elapsed, but soon there would be more uprising.
I am stirred in two directions by this chapter: first, that the people are capable of so much more than even they themselves might believe; and second I am led to question whether people can really substantially change at all, or whether they simply have more temporary reactive force that they might believe – in other words, that the apparent changes are circumstantial.
Have I changed through my life? I think yes, but the changes have all been gradual and come alongside the experiences and mature perspectives. How have I changed?
1. I am more bold and confident as a leader. Another way to phrase this one is that I am not afraid of leading as I used to be.
2. I am less dogmatic about life, especially in my personal faith. I have come to appreciate the great chasm that exists between my behavior and God’s standard, and the hopelessness of crossing that Grand Canyon in my own effort. I find myself resisting certain stereotypes of Christians like politics or trite vernacular usages because they feel empty to me. I wholly lean on Jesus’ Name.
3. I am excited about my life’s work, and calling, in science and engineering. Whereas I used to view my vocation as merely an occupation and kept my head down to work hard and remain less invested in the big job picture so that I could get home to my family, I now have a much broader vision for which those earlier years have prepared me. I used to feel it necessary to add the bulk of my spiritual obedience as church activity. Now I see that I have been gifted in my calling and can bring Jesus into moments without English words and without coercion, but in love and creativity.