Letters to Jesus (Ego, False-self, and Groundhog Day -2
While reading Protestant theologian Oscar Cullman’s book, Christ and Time, I came across a statement that fascinated me and gave me pause for reflection: “Man is that which he will become.” On the literal level such words might understandably be a source of disparagement. Nothing we can do, it would seem, can ever change who or what we are.
In one sense there is truth in this, for we ourselves, without Your help, remain statically untransformed. It is also true that ultimately time does not change our nature. But in a more hopeful and positive sense, at any present moment we are that very being we wish most ardently to become.When we fix ourselves on the desire to transcend our very nature we do, in fact, transcend ourselves and we are what we would be. In such moments we suspend time. This is the contemplative or, if you will, mystical side of our nature. It is not really ours, but Yours. It is in us because Your spirit is in us and, occasionally we seek that, and occasionally we touch it.
By ourselves we will never become any more than what we are. However, openness to Your spirit in us and to the presence of Your spirit in the people and events of our days dynamically defines our “becoming” – our “is-ness” -- regardless of chronology. For Cullman’s word “will” we might more aptly apply “would.” Certainly there are intermediary forces that structure our desire. It is not by simply saying, “I wish I was a saint,” that we are one. But it does start here. The action of Your grace can, with our willing submission, transform that wish and we are what we would be. You guide to spots that transcend our nature and its temporality. Learning to sustain that transcendence is what suspends time and “would be” becomes “is.”