What Has Made Us Who We Are?

            Every once in a while you see something or hear something that makes you think, how did I become the person that I am today?  What influenced me to become the person I see standing before me in the mirror?  What happened to that innocent five year old I once saw?  What has left me with the physical and emotional scares I see today? 

            I guess in simplest terms, life happened.  He grew up and the problems, struggles, joys, happiness, and exposure to the outside world has shaped and molded the person we now see in the mirror.  The cares and concerns of this world has over taken that child who once thought the most trouble he could get into was jumping on his parents bed or pulling his sister’s hair.           

            Now, we are grown and are faced with problems of finance, marriage, children, and our jobs.  Sometimes we feel overwhelmed with responsibility and wonder if things will ever slow down.  Many times we are just plain worn out and so many times it is not the age, but the mileage.

            Solomon, in the Old Testament, even warns us of these things when he wrote Ecclesiastes chapter twelve.  He tells us to remember our creator in the days of our youth.  He goes on to warn that difficult days will come and we will not see or hear as well as we once did.  He continues to talk of our frail bodies and changes in our hair.  Then finally of how we will return to the dust of the earth and our spirits will return to God.

            Why does Solomon tell us all of these things?  He tells us these things because he is the one worn out.  He has tried everything this world has to offer.  He tried fame, fortune, women, he even spent much time building great buildings, but he concludes in the end it all has been vanity.  He comes to the conclusion that this life has had one true purpose.  One thing can last and be taken with us from this world.  That one thing is our soul.  Our soul is the only thing we will take with us when we leave this world.  Solomon understood that and came to the understanding that the meaning of life is to, “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is man’s all.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

            In this life we have struggles and problems as well as joy and happiness.  These are the things that shape our lives.  They shape who we have become.  Sometimes, I stare into that mirror and wonder what has caused me to be the person that I am.  I remember situations and people that changed my life from time to time, but most of all I remember that Jesus Christ said, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)  This is why I am the person I am today, because I decided to let Him share my burden and He carries so much of the load and helps me each and every day of my life.  It is because of Him that every once in a while I look into the mirror and look past the cares and sin of this world and then I can see that five year old boy again.