Think I’m gonna have to write a book. Yeah, on paradoxes, like the above title. They intrigue me more now than earlier. I suspect uncertainty, in some areas, has become more acceptable to me. Early on, all had to be black and white, cut and dried, understandable and explained. Yet I’m learning that finite creatures, like us, can’t fully comprehend the infinite. Now, I embrace that. Of course, some truths have a hard, unyielding edge. But often we have options, and other times understanding God fully is like an ant correcting Einstein. We can’t “get” it all.
So, fresh clichés. An obvious paradox, right? Maybe not. Today in worship I wondered about some clichés that need to be fresh. Sunday: the first day of the week. A chance to get lost in worship, to acknowledge our shortcomings, to gain forgiveness. To get a fresh start. So true it’s become a cliché. But Sunday’s not enough.
If I wait until Sunday for refreshing, I can accumulate a huge load of guilt that drags me down, and I can’t exist that long without absolution. Dropping off to sleep at night, I try to thank God for the good he gave, apologize for the bad I did, and bask in forgiveness as consciousness eludes me. Walking out to get the paper as the day dawns, I rejoice in a fresh start. So, I love sunrise. Another cliché, each day is a new beginning. Once more, it’s true.
Once more, it’s not enough. In half a day, even an hour, my growing impatience, my innate selfishness, my sometimes sloth, on both major and minor issues, can overwhelm me. OK, part of that comes from realizing that faith should impact all I do. In younger days, avoiding 5 or 6 major issues made me feel righteous. I know better now; ignorance was a bit of bliss back then. But I can do enough to need a fresh start. If not, my spiritual edge gets not just dull, but nicked.
I love our Keurig coffee maker, a gift from our kids. Good coffee, not instant, in an instant. I need spiritual fresh starts like that. Anytime. All the time. How can we get fresh? Simply agree with God we did wrong, desire to not repeat it, and ask for forgiveness. No, that’s not easy. Just ask Jesus if the cross was easy. But it’s fresh. A fresh start. And that allows us to get back on track with God, to avoid getting sucked into the quicksand of sin and guilt.
Kick Starting the Discussion
Many run a tab at a restaurant or bar or store. Sometimes, small purchases add up to a tab that hurts to pay. How long is your tab with God? What triggers you to start fresh? What keeps you from doing it? Does the sense of your sin oppress you until you work it out with God? Should it? How often do you monitor your spiritual state (or, check out the status of your tab)? Do your friends play a role in this process? Should they? How?