This past week has been one long throwback for me; I’ve been constantly reminded of old memories, both good and bad. I have always been one to think about things a lot and, lately, I’ve been turning over different instances from my past over in my head. I’ve lived through so many defining and emotional moments that it’s hard to pinpoint which ones were the ones that really decided who I am. What moments were the ones that shaped my character? What taught me to respond to situations that way? Why is my sense of humour like that? I suppose it’s the classic nature vs. nurture debate, but it has become quite relevant to me as I want to know more about who I am and why I am that person.
What I’ve been wondering is, if I had gone through different circumstances in life – made different choices – would I be who I am today? Ultimately I believe that God has designed us and He knows who we are, but I also think that, because of our freewill to make our own decisions, we also play a role in who we are. I think that God has perfect intentions for us, but, because we, as humans, are broken and we live in a broken world, we often stray from those perfect intentions and we add some other things into ourselves that God did not plan on having within us. We add a pinch of fear here, a dash of pride there…eventually we’re this conglomeration of characteristics that make us who we are.
So what if I went back and said no to something that I said yes to? What if I turned right instead of left? What if I had arrived two minutes later to that one thing? Life is full of decisions and possibilities and each moment that we live through, adds to who we are. Some experiences teach us to be bold and courageous, while others teach us to be fearful and mistrusting. We don’t choose the lessons that we learn, but each lesson is something that will form a part of us – big or small.
I guess what I’ve come to conclude is that every moment is vital. The trivial choices are as important as the monumental decisions, because they are choices that we make. There are reasons we make decisions – whether based on past experiences or things we’ve been taught – and those decisions lead to consequences – good or bad – which will most likely play a role in the next choice we make. Life is this massive series of forks in the road on an infinite map – there are unlimited choices in life, but only you make the choices you make and only I make the choices I make. We are all unique in the ways we react, respond, and think and that brings us to different choices, decisions, and circumstances.
Looking back over my life, there are things that maybe I wish I had or hadn’t done. But every choice I made in the past has made me who I am today because it was me who made those choices. The good and the bad decisions that I’ve made have played their part in shaping me. God had amazing intentions for me, but as life went by, I deviated from those intentions and became very unlike who I was designed to be. However, as I’ve learned to love God and myself more, I can make decisions that bring me closer to those original intentions. It’s like I am God’s co-creator – He grabbed a lump of clay and put it on a wheel and began to shape something, then He took my hands and placed them on the clay so I could create with Him. Occasionally I’ve pushed His hands away when I thought that I could do it alone, but when everything fell apart and crumbled down, He simply offered His hands to help me start again.
I don’t think that there are big defining moments for people. I think that every moment that passes plays a role in who we are. Wanting to go back and make different choices isn’t worth it, because if we went back to those particular moments, we would still make the same choices because they are a result of who we were at that time. We would change who we are today and then we would probably make a different choice and it just becomes this big paradox. All we can do is recognize that the past is passed and it’s made us who we are today.