What Are You Waiting For?
January 4, 2014 § Leave a comment
Robert E. Webber, the Divine Embrace
It is a new year and it is all there for the taking. What do you see before you?
If I am honest I have to admit that I sometimes cheat myself out of what is before me because of what lies behind. There are so many words I can’t un-speak, so many mistakes I can’t un-do, and so many people I can’t ‘un-hurt.’ We think we move on, but the deceiver loves dragging us into his warped version of the past, where grace is never has a part. It is all so personal and easily devolves into paralyzing guilt. Sometimes I’ll apologize to one of our children for something I did, or didn’t do when they were young, only to have them say that they don’t know what I’m talking about.
We can make ourselves prisoners of the past, even when the past isn’t holding on.
I think Robert Webber is right in saying that the story of any given religion shapes our spirituality (and therefore how we view life and perceive the world). And I see this all the more clearly when I am pressed to function and respond in the unknown. Because in the story we were born into the future is always terrifying and the ending is never good. The weight of failures and past injuries tend to find their way into our greatest hopes.
And this is what I love about the gospel. It is the new story – the story we have been invited into. And in this story, at the heart of the plot is Jesus, who entered into all that causes fear, dread and regret, to bring what we always dream we may have but never feel we can obtain – Redemption. In other words, that old narrative is only relevant so far as we allow it to be.
So here is the New Year. Only fear will make the future appear to be terrifying – a fear born of the story you were not meant to any longer be defined by.
Is this what you want?
But the new story beckons, and everything lovely that it represents is before you: reconciled relationships, forgiven sins, healed wounds, restored families, renewed passion, grace for all you can never ‘fix’ on your own – it is all there.
What are you waiting for?
It isn’t that we have overcome, but that Jesus has, and because of this, with Paul we can ‘forget what lies behind… straining forward to what lies ahead’ (Philippians 3), not because we know how things will go in the year, but because we know how the big story ends.
What good, mysterious, exciting news…
Happy New Year.