I guess it’s common knowledge that people change, but it’s not something we talk about much in our ferociously paced lives. Physically, we are always changing, every second. Scientists will tell you that millions of skin cells replace your existing frame continuously (if you talk to scientists much.) Though our DNA is set in stone, every single part of us alters as we negotiate our way through life.
This week however, I’ve noticed one of the most stark shifts in my genetic make-up so far. My personality, my ”me’ gene, my general perception on likes and dislikes is transforming.
Five years ago I was taken through a detailed personality test which highlighted I was an extrovert. In fact, I turned out more puppy than man. Throw me into a crowd of humans and I’d have enough energy to fuel Bristol. The idea of solitary confinement was about as tempting as two hours fighting a peacock.
In the last two years however, the core of my being has been slowly shifting. This is hugely challenging for my understanding of how God creates/recreates us, because it poses the question: Is the Spirit of God changing me, or is it just indigestion?
Recently, I’ve started to harbour a longing to withdraw from crowds on a regular basis. I’m opting for one-to-one chats with my mates as oppose to creating carnage with a group of lads. Some older people have commented that I’m ‘calming down’ and one man said he thought my life had been ‘quietened.’
The sound of traffic is becoming almost unbearable as is the noise of hand-dryers in pub toilets. Something in me yearns for a silent place, where even birdsong has been abandoned.
And though this causes slight anxiety attacks for people who think ‘communicators of the Christian faith’ need to swallow a megaphone every morning, I am quietly excited to be honest.
I’m listening to people these days. But not just getting the gist of what their saying, I’m hearing every single word. I’m waiting to hear what’s said in-between sentences, the sighs of disillusionment, the mumbled concerns of doubt, and the deep breaths of fear.
I’m often kneeling to pray whilst passing through my living room. (Usually both my feet wouldn’t make contact with the laminate flooring due to their hastiness.)
“Alex, I love you quiet, loud, stupid or ill” my girlfriend Miriam said in response to my concerns this week.
I can imagine quite a few lads have experienced a similar change in themselves. I don’t see much point in clinging to your old skin when the new stuff is already forming.