This morning, my daughter was using her coloring pencils to make an artistic creation. After completing her work, she gave me an explanation of her drawing as she typically does. This time though, instead of the conversation simply being about what she drew, she also told of how at a certain point she felt lost in her direction. Sounds deep for a 5 yr old, but I was reading between the lines. I think what she said was something like, “And all of the sudden I was like, ‘what am I doing?’, so I stood back, looked at my paper and decided to turn it around and then it was like, ‘Ohhh, so that’s a rock, and this could be like a turtle or a hedgehog’… and then I saw that I could create a beautiful field of flowers right here!” Now imagine this being said with an eccentric head bob and tonal inflection, and it was really quite comical. But also, sooooo telling. How often in our own lives do we look around and feel the same loss of direction? What amI doing?
Brian often reminds us that repentance requires a Uturn. We must change and go in the opposite direction, away from our fleshly desires and toward the Kingdom of God. (see well, the bible.)
Matthew 4:17 tells us of when Jesus began preaching, and his message was this: “Repent! For the Kingdom of God is at hand.” He then goes on to preach his Sermon on the Mount and give a very specific account of what all this looks like. Side note, I recently participated in a bible study by Jen Wilkin titled “Sermon on the Mount”, where the focus is the sermon as a whole and gave great depth and insight to some areas I didn’t even know I was struggling to understand. I super recommend it!
Back to the point, and with a fresh metaphor, imaging driving. Where are you headed? Destination is key – duh. But, have you ever thought you were going toward something and found out you were going entirely in the wrong direction? Many moons ago, my husband-to-be and his sister headed out on a road trip to spend Thanksgiving with their mom in Florida. Their plan was to drive through the night (youth, lol) and get there bright and early to make the family meal. I was at my friend’s family’s house when I got the call. It was a large group, so I had to step out and make him repeat everything. Nope, they weren’t in Florida, they were in South Carolina. Apparently, someone, ehem, had taken a wrong turn while Jason was getting a little shut-eye. When he woke up, they were practically back where they started. Seriously.
SO my question is this: at what point, or better yet, how often do we need to take stock of our surroundings and adjust our course? The truth of the matter is, you can tell that you are heading to the beach when you are on the way. 74 and 211 have looked the same for decades and are recognizable in their monotony. But seriously, you can look around and know where you are heading. Same is true in life. Look at your surroundings… places, people, description of the area…. Are you heading toward the Kingdom of God? Not talking about salvation here, just goal and getting to where God has promised. Jesus’ ministry did not begin with, “now go out and be nice to others..”, it literally started with “Repent”. And I do not think this can be boxed up as a one-time decision. Just as when you head to the beach you don’t simply decide where you are heading and sit back inactively (maybe in the Cars of the Future, lol), you are constantly making turns, changing lanes, and readjusting for detours and traffic. We must be doing the same on our “Christian walk”, lest we end up expecting to get to Florida, but waking up to find you having to call your mom to say you won’t make it for the meal. We can’t miss the meal… Jesus said he was setting a place for us. For you, for me… he promised he was going ahead of us with the expectation we will follow. That’s a promise worth making a Uturn for.
what is "spark"?
Its a small thing - like the flash on a spark plug that hopefully ignites something bigger to propel you forward.