I saw the movie “Looper” last night. The premise was interesting. If you could, would you kill your future self in order to preserve the life you have now? In other words, if you don’t kill your self from 30 years into your future, then the life you have now will be forfeit and there will be no future self at all. It’s a twist on the time travel conundrum often used in movies to create interesting puzzles for the characters to navigate. I usually like that kind of stuff. This movie was no exception. Should you choose to see it, I won’t say more about it.
Earlier today, I began thinking about the cascade of consequences to decisions like developing a drug habit, engaging in criminal habits, indulging immoral habits, just to name a few of the deadly ones. What interests me is that with our choices, we can create a “track” for our lives to run in. I’m not sure it’s intentional. We make a significant decision which opens up new options leading to another selection and then another and so on. Before long, we have a lifestyle. Do it long enough and we know no other way to live. Eventually we create and arrive at a future self who is not the person we wanted to be and we no longer see any other option but to be that person forever.
It is as if, we destroyed the future self we wanted to be. We killed him in order to preserve the life we have now. Maturity is the ability to deny ourselves today in order to achieve a future goal. It’s self control today and reap the benefits tomorrow. That’s hard. I’ve always struggled with it. Simple things like only eating one donut. I like donuts and always want another cinnamon one with frosting. Continue down that road long enough and I get a double chin. I only need one chin. Once you get an extra, the stupid thing won’t go away as easily as it arrived. It’s simpler to just accommodate it and eat another cinnamon twist. So then I kill my future skinny self. Sorry guy.
God alone offers another option. He awakens in us, resurrects from the dead, our spiritual self. This self has new power and a greater desire to change directions. The old life, the “track” we set ourselves on, will resist furiously but can be overcome. Finally. This results in an entirely new future self and a new destination. The power comes from the Holy Spirit. The offer applies to everyone no matter where their choices have taken them.
Romans 8 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (NASB)