“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it…”
Prone to lostness. Prone to confusion. Prone to wrongdoing. Prone to delusion. Prone to sin. Lord, I feel it.
My sin is a darkness and a heavy sleep that I don’t want to leave because it’s comfortable.
I hear Him calling me, asking me to come near, but I’m not ready to go yet. Not ready to leave this pile of sin that has somehow become home.
I know, I know. I’ve said it a thousand times: “Nothing fills me up like You, nothing fills the empty inside like Your love.” Yet still I run back to my sin. Why do I do this?
Because in the end, are the worldly things I love better than You?
He’s calling me out of it. “Come on, time to get out.” He gently and firmly calls, like a mother persuading her child to wake up and face the day. I am too comfortable and too annoyed to even open my eyes. I ignore him. Several times.
“Child, you’ve dabbled in sin long enough. We’re done playing games. Time to get out”,
His voice is firm and no-nonsense. I feel a pang in my heart, and I know His words ring true. Still, I squeeze my eyes shut. Even if I wanted to leave, I think I’ve missed my chance. I’ve been here too long, done too much stuff, and enjoyed it too much. I roll over and turn my face away. Coming back to You is just too embarrassing and shameful.
I mean, God, I can’t even ask for forgiveness right now, my heart doesn’t want to go there. I’m just tired, can’t I stay here longer?
I open one eye to see if He is still there. He is. He always is.
He waits. I wait, and I think. If I gave in, I wouldn’t even know where to start.
I close my eyes again and take a deep breath. Wait, what’s that smell? Did it always smell this bad in here? The stench convinces my eyes to open and see where it is coming from. I look over the brown, rotting piles of garbage and think again, where is the smell NOT coming from?! Everything is filthy.
I gaze over my stacks of addictions (addiction to self, to sin, to laziness, daydreams, fantasies, comfort, celebrities, gossip, social media, sleep, non-sacrifice, entertainment, lust, greed, knowledge, music, pop culture, food, books, writing, sexuality, pride). Why do I live here anyway? I ask myself. The answer is a moment in coming but when it comes it hits me between the eyes: Because I can control it.
In this pile of sin, I make a nest. In this pile of sin, I meet my own needs, I feed my own ego, I satisfy my own appetites.
This sin is what I know, it’s what I’m comfortable in, it’s what I think I can control.
He’s calling me to leave sin behind.
My head whispers to my heart, “haven’t you had enough yet?”, and my heart beats back as its reply.
Will you ever drink your fill of this well? Will you ever be satisfied?
These sins – I’ve looked at them, felt them, and smelt their stench, but suddenly, I’m done.
Like the prodigal son, I realize that I’ve squandered all I have and come up with nothing, and I don’t want nothing. I’m tired of all this nothing.
I don’t want to be here anymore. The stench, the grime, the dirt. It’s starting to make my stomach churn. Nausea and disgust simultaneously fill my entire body and in one instant I realize I can take it no more. I don’t want to be here any longer. I don’t know what comes next, or how I’ll face Him, but I know I don’t want to be here.
I pull myself up and kick the garbage out of the doorway. There’s no need to look back or linger so I twist the doorknob and head out.
He looks at me with a smile in His kind eyes and says, “That, my friend, is the first step of repentance.”
Lord, here I am.
Your will be done in my life.
Take me on the path that would bring You glory. Let me see and experience Your goodness in the land of the living.
Why? Because I need Your bread of life, Your Spirit that will keep my soul from thirsting.
If You are here to give sight to the blind, then give me eyes to see. If you are here to heal the sick, heal me. If You are here to call me from sin, then give me the strength to walk away from what breaks Your heart.
As I walk away from sin, I walk towards grace. I walk towards redemption with a lightness so free that it startles me. And even in my brokenness, He is making all things new.