Reinventing Me

With a month left before I reach 43, I have been contemplating a bunch of things. Over the course of the last couple of days the idea of reinvention has been on my mind. As I prepare to move all of my stuff into a storage unit within the last few weeks of May and embark on a year of travel, the summer of “move” and the year of “reinvention” is about to start. Here are a few ideas that are swimming around in the murky waters of darkness breaking into light.

Reinvention does not mean re-creation. I cannot re-create myself. As much as I would like to change some areas of my life, what I am like, what I struggle with, personal insecurities etc.  there are items and issues that are immutable. I am stuck with certain idiosyncrasies for life and I am having to learn to deal with those things with grace and discipline. Nonetheless, there are a myriad of areas of life that can be reworked, retooled and refashioned to better bring fulfillment to my life and more glory to God. Here is a short list of my ponderings about the reinvention of me. Hope it helps you too.

Be intentional in your reinvention.

Don’t just change something to change it; change it with purpose on purpose. So often I go through life and do things because of the fad or trend. I can get swept away in a moment and that moment can carry me for days, months or even years. Then it’s years later and I wonder: “why am I wearing this or that? Why do I have this? Where did this come from?” The point is to be intentional with everything you do, every place you go, every person you meet, everything you wear, etc. Do it all with purpose on purpose. Most of  us have reasons for doing what we do, we are just not aware of it. If we were to work backwards on much of this we’d realize that a lot of what we do is to please others, fit in, or an effort to find meaning and purpose. Our actions are not meant to produce purpose they should flow from it. Deliberately choosing to start something new or let something go is the beginning of reinvention.

Don’t wait for how when you have now.

Many things never get done because people fear not knowing “how”. Utilize the momentum of now to be creative about how. Part of the adventure of reinvention is not that there is a “plan” but a discovery. An uncovering if you will. Like an archeologist on a dig in Greece unearthing some rare gem build long ago, is the rediscovery of our true selves being unearthed in reinvention. God fashioned us long ago and there are times when reinvention, repurposing, and recycling are appropriate. But it all takes time more than a plan. Many people never start because they don’t have a “plan” forgetting they do have a prayer. Prayer is much more important than a plan. Wasting time waiting for a detailed plan can cost you immeasurably. If you sense God is calling you to reinvention and repurposing and recycling of your life, pray unlike ever before. Step out and step now at His voice, the Lord will order your steps.

Do the hard things and work hard everyday.

The writer of Hebrews said it perfectly:

“No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it”. Hebrews 12:11

There’s no shortage of lazy people. People who want more for less abound and are easily found. But where are those people who really put forth the effort? Reinventing myself means that I have to look at the areas of my life where I have learned to coast, learned to sail through and breeze by and become re-challenged again. Otherwise, find something new to do. Excellence comes with practice and practice means work. Reinventing myself means that I cannon be “ok” with life as is. Who slapped a sticker on me that said “as is”? There’s got to be a new sticker that says “yet to be”. Find a new endeavor, new way of thinking, new system of operations, new learning curves. If you are not re-educating you are not creating sustainable growth. It may be hard to learn a new skill but who said reinvention would be easy?

Be consistent.

Adopt certain practices and routines that can be done every day regardless of where you are. As a person who travels much, routines can be somewhat hard for me to form. Reinventing myself means that I have to find a certain set of routines that are mobil. These have to become my non-negotiables when I travel. Things like Bible study, prayer time, journaling, exercise, eating and sleeping habits are all things I can control even when on the road. I have to be deliberate about it…consistent.

Style your inner being as much as your outer self.

Reinvention is more than changing your wardrobe, although that is some of it. Changing your styles in clothing can affect some of your inner working as well. However the focus must be inward for reinvention. Have your personal relationship with Christ be personal and reflective of who you are. Don’t try to mimic another…create your own system and style of worship, conversation and journey. Let things you use outwardly represent meaningful things inwardly. For example, I bought a $5.00 simple faced watch today from Walmart. Not only did it represent thriftiness for me but the simple numbers reflected my move toward more simplicity in life. The watch itself signified and symbolized my reinvention and time for a change. I realize that I am “doing time” all the time: I’m either a prisoner to other people, their opinions, values etc. or I am a prisoner of Christ.

Do Art.

Look at everything for artistic value and inspiration.  Take apart useless things in your house, garage, closets and find new ways to use them or get rid of it. Try to not have anything that is simply taking up space. Allow your space to represent you artistically. Don’t use walls and halls to “decorate” instead use them to communicate. Reinventing myself means not having anything that doesn’t have meaning or purpose . I have come to the place in my life where I don’t want things to be meaningless because in some ways that means my life has lost the plot. Art and expressions through artistic medium allow my existence to communicate in ways that words alone cannot. Reinvention through learning another way of expression like poetry, dance, spoken word, horticulture, landscaping, building, self-publishing, etc. are great ways to reinvent and find yourself all over again. Let the reinvention adventure begin!

George Lockhart is a missionary with Vision 2 Hear and student pastor at New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA.
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