Jon Stolpe Stretched

What's S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g me now?

Transformation Reminders – Looking Back Brings Perspective

Leanne and I on our Fat Tire Bike Tour while in Paris in 2006

Yesterday morning, I enjoyed an eight mile bike ride on the Perkiomen Trail with my wonderful wife.  We rode on a section of the trail that I haven’t been on for a while.  I used to come here often.  I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this out and back section between Spring Mountain and Green Lane Park.  I like it, because it’s shaded most of the way, it’s fairly flat, and it’s right alongside the Perkiomen Creek.

As I consider the possibility of ramping up training to run the upcoming Amish Country Bird In Hand Half Marathon on September 10, 2011, I realize that I’ll probably return to this area to log some of my longer runs.  Several years ago, I logged a lot of miles on this section as I trained for full and half marathons.

On Sunday, I returned to New Jersey with our family to enjoy a picnic/party with some friends.  It was a huge blessing to see these friends and their families again.  I lived in this area for almost 17 years of my life.  In many way, this is my home (although I don’t have family there any longer).  I grew up here around these people.  Sure it was somewhat embarrassing to be reminded of some of the crazier things of my youth, but it was also gratifying to hear how my generation of teenagers made an impact on our youth leaders.

Returning to a forgotten section of trail and returning to my hometown area – how do these relate?  I think it can be healthy to get back to our roots – to go back to the past.

Sometimes, this can be painful as it reveals broken relationships and failures that we’d rather forget.  I get that, and I know it can hurt.  But I think looking back can also show us how far we’ve come.  It also gives us a chance to renew our appreciation for where we’ve come from in life.

As I look back on the last four years of my blog and the last two months of my journal, I can see God’s faithfulness.  I can see areas of challenge and growth in my life.  And I can see how God is chipping away at this rockhead – how God is molding me like clay – to be continually transformed into a new creation.  Going back reminds me of this fact.

When you look back at your past, how can you see that God is transforming you?  Where do you go to be reminded of your past?

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!  2 Corinthians 5:17

July 5, 2011 - Posted by | blogging, life, looking back, thankful, thoughts


  1. Thank you Jon! Love you, Mom

    You bring tears to my eyes…good ones:)

    Comment by Mom | July 5, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Mom!

      I love you too!


      Comment by jonstolpe | July 5, 2011 | Reply

  2. Great post. I love moments when the past, present and future converge highlighting God’s faithfulness. My husband, a worship pastor, always says remembering is an important part of worship. If we don’t remember God’s faithfulness and grace, especially in the midst of our mess, how can we humbly worship him. God is constantly redeeming my words, I was born talking, he is turning my words from negative to godly.

    Comment by Beck | July 5, 2011 | Reply

    • Beck,

      This reminds me of Romans 8:26-27:

      In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

      I’m so thankful that God can and does work wonders around us and through us despite our messes.


      Comment by jonstolpe | July 5, 2011 | Reply

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