Who Are You Becoming?

I was reading an NPR news article on Apple’s recent iPhone release and all the upgrades associated with their big splash.  In the world of “let’s build a better mousetrap,” it was quite impressive.

Here are a few features that caught my attention:

-a new lower-end 5c release at the $99.00 price point to capture an entire generation of future technology addicts

-cool, crazy colors that just might satisfy every single person’s preference and personality

-a fancy “Gold” luxury model that communicates status, power, and prestige for those of us feeling like maybe our iPhone isn’t as big as a buddy’s iPhone

-the all-new “Touch ID,” Apple’s response to the “necessary” fingerprint technology  (I sure don’t want anyone sneaking on my phone and messing up my Angry Birds scores, right?!)

-and as if the current camera wasn’t remarkable enough on the 4s, this next one raises the bar leaps and bounds, boasting 8-megapixel image capture, 33% light-sensitivity increase, new true-tone double flash, burst mode, and the list goes on…

-an all new 64-bit processor that boasts speed of up to twice as fast as anything Apple has ever released before  (This incidentally is 56 times the speed of the original iPhone released in 2007.)

It was the next line that caught me off guard.

And “investors were unimpressed” as Apple stock price responded with a huge drop of 3%.

Of course they were.

Here’s the reality, hiding within it a deeper dilemma.

“Investors” would very likely be “unimpressed” if Apple CEO Tim Cook offered his first-born son as part of the upgrade. Or better yet, raised Steve Job from the grave, restoring him from a losing battle against cancer, just this one time, to release an unprecedented technological revolution, again.


Here’s the dilemma: a culture that values progress above well-being will never be satisfied.

The pressure to live for tomorrow and the “next thing” is entirely insatiable.  It’s a perpetually moving target that can never be seized.

What if we took the energy thrown into the drive for perpetual progress and instead harnessed it for its original Kingdom intentions?

Dallas Willard was one of the greatest philosophers, theologians, and spiritual giants of our day.  He said time and time again,

The most important thing in your life is not what you do. It is who you become.


The most important thing in your life is not what you do. It is who you become.

Let that sink in.  Consider that, honestly, for a moment.  Do you believe that?


Rather than “what’s next?” or  “how do we make this better, bigger, stronger, faster?” what if we asked a different question?

Who are you becoming?

How much energy, thought, motive, and consideration is fueling your “becoming” today?

It will do our hearts good to take heed from those who’ve walked the ancient path before us.  As Dallas suggests,

We are becoming, who we will be—forever.

A wise man once said,

If a man cannot have order within him, he cannot spread order about him.

Progress is overrated.  Beyond its ability to move a person or a culture from abject poverty to relatively reliable subsistence, progress never produces its loftier promises.

But on its backside, the immediate yet fleeting gratification of progress may bring more long term hazards than meets the eye.

In a great read on the matter, The Unsettling of America, Wendell Berry quotes Barnard DeVoto regarding the massive unforeseen implications of the momentary decisions by Native Americans in the 16th,17th, and 18th centuries to engage with Europe’s “constantly expanding market” mentality…

The first belt-knife given by a European to an Indian was as…great as the cloud that mushroomed over Hiroshima….Instantly the man of 6000 B.C. was bound fast to a way of life that had developed seven and a half millennia beyond his own.  He began to live better and he began to die.

Of course.  The Indian was mistaken, thinking that progress would make life better.  While the belt-knife and the musket that followed brought short-term progress to their way of life, it was this new found dependency on these modern conveniences that inextricably linked the Indian to the white settlers and led to the eventual annihilation of the Indian’s way of life.  Solomon named it thousands of years ago when he said,

There’s a way that seems right to a man, and in the end it leads to death. (Proverbs 16:25)

What if this core desire set deep in the heart of a man to build something extraordinary, to exercise dominion, was first meant to fuel an inward transformation that then spilled out into an external reality? What if this desire is rooted deeply in God’s design and desire for us, but perhaps we’ve leaped over the process, attached this desire to  fulfillment, and neglected the invitation for this desire to be the fuel of an internal transformation that, in God’s time, is realized in our external world?

What if building a better mousetrap doesn’t mean much to God?

Dallas Willard suggests,

The most important thing about a person is not what they do. It is who they become.

When asked, “What is Christianity?” Dallas responded simply, 

It is more of me belonging to more of God.

I want more.

I want more of me to be given over to more of Him.

Who are you becoming today?

Who will you be in a decade?

It might be the most important question you ever ask.


Father, forgive me for giving way to deception. Forgive me for making agreement that progress equals maturity. Forgive me for all the ways I have given my heart over to progress rather than giving my heart over to You, to grow me from the inside out.

I invite Your intervention today. You remind me that the same measure I use on others is the measure that will be used on me (Matthew 7:2). I confess that the mantras of “not good enough” and “try harder” are exhausting taskmasters.  In the ways I demand them of myself and those I love.

I invite You in. I break agreement that I have made with progress equaling godliness.

Shine Your light. Come into this place.

Father, what if it is not about what I do but instead about who I am becoming?

I want to become whole and holy. I want to become true, strong, courageous and loving. I want to become settled.

I want my focus to be on

   Who You are,

   What you are doing, and

   How you are doing it.

I want more of me to belong to more of You.

I’m asking for a divine intervention. I’m asking that You would redirect all the energy I’ve put into progress in my world and into my demand for change in the world around me
and use that energy to guide me deeper into You today, and deeper into the journey of becoming.

Guide me in becoming who You meant when You meant me.

Becoming a son.

Becoming good soil.

Heal me. Restore Your true heart in me.

I receive more of You into more of me. Amen.