Well that didn’t take long.
Yesterday I was at Conference pastors meeting over in the Wisconsin Dells. On the way home, we stopped and grabbed a sandwich at Jimmy John’s. I love their sandwiches and even though it is only 12 miles away I rarely get over there to have one.
Now the sandwich is not the issue. Pastor Dom ordered first as I was pondering the menu before ordering what I always order a #4 Turkey Tom. Dom ordered what he always orders at least the two times I have been with him, the #9 the Italian (ahem) Night Club and a soda…
I stepped up then and did pretty much the same the #4, no cucumbers, and a Diet Coke… we paid, grabbed our orders and were out the door… Dom drove so I sat and took a big ol’ pull on my soda and remembered… Crap… I gave up soda for lent.
Here I was one day into Lent and my discipline was already shot to… well you get the point. Now I could have finished my drink and Jesus would still love me.
Here is the thing, I chose not to, not as some grandiose display of piety, not because I needed a topic for my blog, but because I chose not to. In the realm of repentance it isn’t world changing, but its a start.
Sometimes you have to keep starting to get going at all! I remember making grand plans in my past to get on top of things; from school work to home projects… great plans good intentions… bupkis for results. What would happen is essentially a drink of soda… I would sleep in when I hadn’t planed on it, I would space off a project and then I reasoned the whole thing wasn’t worth starting again.
What this approach often got me was nothing.
Repentance isn’t so much about getting it, whatever it is, perfectly right. Repentance isn’t a scold, or a bad word. Repentance is about turning and returning to God, over an over and over again. I emphasize over and over, because we are prone not to stop at 180 degrees. We tend to keep going until we have turned a full 360, back where we started.
Repentance is about returning to God, trusting that God will make all things new. It is this promise that I am refreshed in the waters of my baptism and enabled and empowered to grow into who I already am in God’s amazing grace. Now I have to go find my water bottle… I’m thirsty!