Today has been a respite, a respose from the inanity of semester’s end. After a late breakfast, I decided to go outside and enjoy the glory-fall. I walked out past the parking lot and sat on a big rock and gazed across the field in front of the school. It was a beautiful moment—gazing and reflecting and praying. I couldn’t help but take it all in, and I was so thankful that my eyes are truly open. When your eyes are really open, you never want to miss a single moment, but take it all in because you become aware of the beauty surrounding you. Each moment is invaluable because it will never come back, and you may never have another one quite like it. It causes you to be thankful even for the hard moments because you can look back and see how it has shaped who you are in the present. So you really can be thankful in all things. Wow.

At some length of sitting and gazing, I decided to go for a walk on a nearby trail. Eventually, I came to this sight:

Art in the wilderness

Look familiar? It should if you remember this post at the beginning summer. The one difference is that it’s facing the opposite direction. At some point since I took the last picture, the pole has been turned around so that the text is facing the other way. It’s symbolic. It points to the fact that I am now on the other side of summer—on the other side of those particular hardships and circumstances. It points to the fact that God has covered me through difficulty and oppression and uncertainty and has sustained, strengthened, and empowered me to live abundantly. It demonstrates the outworking of God’s glory in my life. It fills me with purpose for the present and hope for the future. Wow.

To conclude this post, here’s a new poem:

Patterns

Here and there, occasionally,
I have a thought begin to spread
And germinate through what I’ve said,
The event seems random at best.

Here and there, occasionally,
I have a word to kindly share,
And sharing, I myself do bare
My heart and everything I have.

Here and there, occasionally,
I open what is firmly shut,
Exposing the infected cut
Of solitude’s egregious blade.

Here and there, occasionally,
I realize amid my pain,
The omni-present God would deign
To be near to my broken heart.

Here and there, occasionally,
I bow under a heavy load,
I find that I despise the road
I have unswervingly chosen.

Here and there, occasionally,
I falter for a wise critique,
The very wisdom that I seek
Would sooner be my undoing.

Here and there, occasionally,
I find offense at every turn,
The power of what I would learn
Is robbed of all efficacy.

Here and there, occasionally,
I pause to hear all heaven shout—
This is what life is all about—
And hope springs within me once more.

© 2011 David Andrew

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” —Matthew 3:2

To repent is to change your mind, to change the way you think. Anything that we do or say, anything that we allow to set itself up against God, we are called to repent of. We are called to repent of anything that refuses to give God dominion.

I was reading the Psalms today and the writer was pleading with God to bring retribution to the wicked. The wicked in this passage were doing all of these things to unjustly hurt the writer and he was asking God to bring the wicked down to lower than the dust. As I was reading this, I kept thinking to myself how much I would hate to be the wicked. How would it feel to be the ill-favored fatherless of Psalm 109:10-13? I thought about how I would feel utterly dejected and filled with anger to be in their position.

Then it hit me. The wicked need to repent because they have thought patterns that refuse to bow to Christ. The wicked and their children entertain thoughts of hatred and self-pity, and to repent would mean that they must give up those patterns of thought. Ah, Sovereign LORD, I am the wicked!

How many times have I entertained self-pity? How many times have I been angry at myself (depressed) because of my circumstances? How many times have I despairingly surrendered to loneliness? I am the wicked. I have not clung to God’s promises. I have not thanked Him for all things. I have not given Him dominion over my thoughts. Abba, change the way I think. These patterns are so deeply ingrained in me that I don’t know how to repent on my own. As far as I understand it, I give you dominion over my thoughts.

plant
Repentance starts small and grows into righteousness, bearing the fruit of the Spirit.