We avoid so much of ourselves; is it any wonder we feel so alienated? You know, repentance is not wishing you hadn’t said something mean or done something wrong; that’s denial. Repentance isn’t just regret; that’s guilt. I get the sense that real repentance is acknowledging the depth of our inhumanity and feeling it out with the acceptance and love that God offers us so freely. Asking God for forgiveness at any time is really just taking steps to forgive ourselves, to pick it all up, to try again. All these scrapes and bangs ingrain God more deeply in our hearts until there is so much of him that we’re nothing but human.
It’s never done, though, not here. We like thinking in terms of goals. Goal #1: Be a good person! But repentance isn’t a goal, and it’s not a lifestyle; it’s just a life. It’s constantly coming back to the whole of who you are, and the whole of who God is, and the whole of who you are in God.
We’re so impatient, aren’t we? We want to get. This. Done. But it’s the doing that’s the learning curve and that’s the point: Earth is the lesson. It’s not the test, and it’s not the result. I know the metaphor of ‘testing’ is prevalent in Scripture and in Christian thinking. And it’s apt as far as metaphors go. But a test implies the possibility of failure, when Jesus has assured us that failure is impossible if you accept him.
You cannot fail being a child of God because you already are a child of God. Repentance is overcoming the belief that you’re not.
Know what I’m sayin’?