“I need a personal God, well no actually, I need God to be more personal, well no actually, I need God to feel more personal than he has lately.”
I just bought a tee shirt from a line of shirts that feature crosses in various forms mixed in creatively with other images. You wouldn’t necessarily know they were “Christian shirts” if not for the one word sideways on the shirts. The word on this particular shirt is “redemption.” One word, the right word, can carry a lot of power. Especially if that word is on your mind or if J wants that word to be on your mind.
I haven’t thought much about redemption lately. I get the word. J’s blood spilled on the cross redeemed and continues to redeem us. I get that, and I’m grateful for it. I would much rather be mentioned in the Book of Life than be in a hand basket wondering where I’m heading. But that’s not what I’m hearing today. Whether I realized it or not, I’ve been looking for redemption. Surely my run of luck, or lack thereof, is due to bad karma or more accurately sin in my life. OK, I’ll just say it, I’ve had a hard time not feeling like I’m being punished. I have been looking for redemption, and an end to my run of trials or at a least break from them, or even a hint that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t an oncoming train.
Today is a freezing, rainy late winter day in early March. The birds of summer are still on vacation and contemplation appears more relevant than revelation. No pat answers this late afternoon just something to think about. Redemption. I need to feel it more than explain it. Maybe the second most important word right now is “focus.”
Focus on redemption rather than wondering why I need to feel redeemed, which isn’t accurate anyway in the very possible sense that what I’m really looking for is to be justified as much as feeling the “punishment” will end, and my being restored, whatever that means.
Now, I’m feeling a little selfish. I’ve been wallowing in self pity and that really gets one nowhere. What does the word “redemption” look like right now and what is it trying to tell me? The Christian life is not only a journey but a war. Self pity is a sort of self emasculation that doesn’t do me any good. “It doesn’t matter how hard you can hit. What matters is how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. (paraphrase from the movie Rocky Balboa).” Pressing forward when there isn’t a clear reason to do so at all is what I need to do everyday. That will be a victory in and of itself.