A Pilgrim's....Progress...

-From the Latin peregrinus
-A traveler (literally one who has come from afar) who is on a journey to a holy place.
In a sense, we are all travelers... but we are not all Pilgrims. Every single one of us is on a journey, but the destination has the potential to be vastly different. As a professing Christian, I'd love to tell you that I am secure in my destination; no ifs, ands, or buts about it. But it's a struggle. Even today I found myself asking to which camp I belonged. Am I merely on a journey, or am I on a journey to a holy place?

When we aren't careful, many of us (myself included) have the capacity...and dare I say tendency...to trade in holy for habit; Truth for trinket. Christianity becomes nothing more than a masquerade. We dress up, raise a glass to life and to each another, and continuously put on one colorfully ornate mask after another. Some of us hide behind our wit. Some, behind our intellect and achievements, and some even behind Christianity itself. My mask, for example, is decorated with my abilities, my wisdom, and my moral compass. When wearing my mask, I have the capacity to pick myself up by my bootstraps, drum up some sage advice for many an occasion, and say and do all the right things in order to fool only myself into thinking I am at a place in life, that I am actually not. My mask is heavy... but despite that fact, I wear it often.
Consider the above picture. It's unsettling isn't it? But you see, no matter how ornate, no matter how beautiful the mask, this is what the real masquerade looks like. 

We are so terrified to remove our masks, aren't we? So afraid to let our real selves be seen, to let our real selves breath. If people saw the REAL me, the me that was still in progress, how could they possibly love that mess? But therein lies the deception. Christ died for the REAL me. Christ died for the messy me. In fact, Christ became my mess in order that I would no longer be trapped in it. More so, Christ became my mess, my sin, in order that I might ultimately be freed from it. Even when typing that sentence I draw in a deep breath. So, when I wear my porcelain shell; the one I think people want, all I am really doing is preventing people from seeing Christ's work in me. Yes, the work that is STILL in progress.

So, even knowing that Truth, why am I so tempted to reach for my colorful habit? I think today I realized it is because I do not trust my true face; my true identity. I don't think it's enough. I don't trust that MY identity says that not only am I on a journey to a holy place, but MY identity says that once I reach my destination, I too will be made holy as He is holy. The work has already been done, now it's just a matter of becoming what I am already destined to be. But It doesn't seem right. Shouldn't I have to DO more? 

Allow me to digress into nature for a second. Nature provides a beautiful example of the discrepancy between who we appear to be and who we truly are. Think about a caterpillar. By all appearances a caterpillar is slow....unattractive...lumpy...but not according to its DNA. According to its DNA, the true identity of that lumpy mess that we see before us by every scientific test possible, including the test of its DNA, is actually a gorgeous butterfly through and through. This creature, looking nothing like a butterfly is, in fact, 100% just that! It is on a journey to a destination that it hasn't yet reached. But one day it will. And every day in between, a maturing process is taking place. One day that caterpillar will display every characteristic and attribute of the butterfly identity it already possesses. How beautiful is that?

And the same is true of us. If Christ is our savior, then the same is true of us.

So...what mask do you wear? Which identity are you tempted to parade? What does your REAL face look like?

I'll show you mine if you show me your's? Actually, scratch that. I'm working to show you mine regardless. But it sure would be nice to get a glimpse of the You you already are.

"Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator."
- Colossians 3:9-10