When you get repeatedly snowbound and sub-zero discouraged from travel, you start doing funny things. Like looking at tracks in the white stuff. And photographing them. And letting your mind follow them along, pondering…
Which set of tracks above would you say best represents your movement through life? (Take a moment to consider.)
Some people’s track record lies pressed hard forward with heavy purpose, and stands firm.
These folks. get. things. done. And they seem to know just what they’re doing. Decided, definite, determined.
Others travel along traditional lines, or in the general trending of their time, each in her own slightly different course, not necessarily in anyone else’s exact footsteps, but
Others cross the life tracks of others, and only briefly, going their own way.
Then there’s this:
When I saw that track and snapped the photo, I laughed. I thought it might well represent my own oft-confused and convoluted pilgrimage.
Which would represent repentance?
Yesterday, around here, we talked about repentance: what it is exactly, who says to do it.
Strongly emphasized was turning: turning from, and turning to. Turning from error, turning to God.
One scripture person who said to do it was John the baptizer (Mt 3:1-2). He prepared a path for the coming Lord and instructed others how to do the same: by “Repent!”ence.
And when He, the Lord, came, what did He preach? “Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 4:17).
Is repentance just a one-time deal, done and done, for good and all? Or do we need to make periodic course corrections, even 180 turn-arounds when we’ve steered way off course? Another definition for repent is “return,” says Strong’s Expanded Dictionary, citing the Prodigal Son as clear example.
At this point yesterday, I remembered Sallie Edwards Turoczi of Trans World Radio speaking of repentance at a women’s retreat, as both the necessary base of a Christian life’s figurative pyramid, and the mortar it needs for all its upward steps to hold together and cling fast to the base.
That made sense to me, for I knew that even with the best intentions I sometimes wander off-course and need drastic course correction—even though it will look like that last track above:
I also remembered a fellow blogger’s long-past post in which she told how a view in her rearview mirror reminded her of repentance, and prompted her to make some kind of light-hearted sign, saying “Repent,” which she placed somewhere on her church premises, I think in the building’s basement (though I can’t find that post to verify this). Anyway, wherever she placed it, it drew sour and heated responses! (Maybe the blog post did too, and so she repented writing it? I’ll keep her anonymous, in case.)
However, why would church people, presumably Christians, get so upset about this word?
Methinks it’s because we don’t like to admit error, misstepping. It’s embarrassing. And so is the track record left by such drastic course-changing.
Nevertheless, I read of Paul telling the Christians in Corinth and Galatia to do some repenting, to return to the right way of going, and Christ Himself, through John the Apostle, calling nearly all the seven churches of Revelation to some kind of repentance (Rev 2:5,16,21-22;3:3,19).
So… what if it does leave a silly-looking track record behind? After my snowbound path pondering, I don’t feel as bad about mine.
How about you? Is repentance hard? Embarrassing?
Happy tracking anyway, this winter-wonderful day!
You might also enjoy reading this related post
(Talk about embarrassing!)