Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Shut up and Drive. (a review)
Last time we were together, we gave a definition for Repentance: “that mighty change of mind, spirit and heart, wrought by the hand of God.” Today, I would like to focus on the concept of Change.
Before I was saved, when people would say they were praying for me, I would smile and tell them “yea, that’s great”, but inside I was furious. In my heart, I thought: “you can’t be praying for me unless you are talking about me, and I am none of your business!!!”
Let’s turn the Spiritual Switch. Have you ever traveled I-5? To a logger from Elk City, it can be intimidating. There are all manner of people going the same direction you are. Some eating, some talking on the phone, some reading a book (this is not made up), some putting on their makeup, and some doing various combinations of all. There are at least a couple of lanes, and as many as six. All going the same direction, all sure they are Okey-Doky, and totally focused on getting there.
There is almost always some sort of divider between the North bound lanes, and the South bound lanes. Sometimes it is a Borrow Pit; sometimes some Ice-plant, trees or shrubbery, and sometimes there is so much real estate, between the opposing lanes, you can’t even see them. Sometimes the folks going the other way are half a mile off, and five hundred feet higher than you are. They may as well not even exist. Point is, you are going one way, and they are going the other. Not Another, but The other. Back to Change. Every time my mom or my grandma or anyone else prayed for me, there was a little break in the divider on the highway of life. I could catch a glimpse of people going the other way. At first I ignored it, then I dismissed it, but the frequency and the scale of the glimpses kept growing till I could no longer ignore it. I rationalized that they were inconsequential, that they had no bearing on my destination. They were less important than whatever I was doing.
But, the sight of them - more and more, ate at me. “Where are they all going? Can they all be wrong? Perhaps I should turn around and see where they are headed”. Then I did it. I pulled off at the next exit, drove over the freeway, and headed the other direction. I had lots of questions, even doubts. Everything familiar was going the other way, but this seemed somehow better. The very same exits (temptations) were available to me, but I was so focused on the direction of travel, I was more able to ignore them. I had done a U-turn in life. I had been headed down the road toward sin and self, and was now going 180 degrees in the other direction, toward God. It is the same road, with the same off-ramps offering the same goods and services, but now I was headed in the absolute other direction. That’s Change. That’s Repentance.
Next time we will examine some Characteristics, and Practical Applications of Repentance. Who is Praying for you, and how long can you drive with the blinders on?