In Spite of Me
While I was in California earlier this month, I got a chance to share at the church where I became a Christian. As I contemplated what it was that I wanted to share about my faith journey, it occurred to me that many of my biggest life decisions were not made with the best of intentions, and yet God was still able to work for and through me:
* I only first started to go to church regularly in the first place as a teenager not as much because of any deep spiritual longing but rather because there were a lot of cute girls I could socialize with in the youth group.
* I chose Penn during my senior year in high school largely because I felt Wharton would maximize my future status and earning potential.
* My first summer in college, I decided to go to a "study tour" in Taiwan that was so infamous for hooking up that everyone called it "Love Boat."
Again, not the noblest of motives. But, God made the best of me: my decisions to become a Christian and to move to the East Coast have radically transformed the course of my life, and even my summer in Taiwan was redeemed for His glory as I was able to find five other believers with whom I could witness of being in relationship with Jesus Christ amidst the prevailing culture.
This is not to say we should take life decisions lightly because God can redeem our poor choices: decision-making is woefully undercovered as a topic for people who seek to live out their Christian lives, and we can go awfully astray, with disastrous consequences, if we are cavalier in our choices. My point is rather to express that where and who I am today is due more to God's merciful hand than anything commendable in me. He works in mysterious ways, and thinking back on how He worked in spite of me further girds me to trust Him all the more into the future.