Here’s a brief reflection on the nature of repentance. I was thinking about Pilgrim’s Progress when I wrote this, sort of in the same style:
I was once walking along a road with no real direction in particular. I found myself just picking the way to go based on the friendliness of the path – was there sunshine? Were there potholes? Did one way look more inviting than the other? The way before me was spread out, so I walked on at my leisure with little intentionality.
But then I heard a voice behind me saying, “Turn…”
I did not want to turn around. I wanted to choose the way I should go. Still, the voice made me wonder what might be of interest, so I quickly glanced over my shoulder and found only darkness. It seemed, much to my dismay, that there was little light in that direction. Why would I turn? Why would I choose a different way when I could instead walk on, as I had been, using my senses to guide me to the next step and direction?
But there was the voice again. Insistent this time. “Turn…”
I glanced over my shoulder again to see the speaker but found, again, only darkness. It was maddening. Logic went against turning to what I could not see. There was only the voice behind, whereas there was the clear path in front. So I walked on.
And I answered with frustration. “Turn to what? I can see what lies ahead, but not what lies behind. There is only darkness.” But as much as I wanted to laugh off the decision, I could not escape the voice. There was a sense of urgency there; urgency, but behind the urgency, there was kindness. Such a voice I had rarely heard. It was the voice I would use with my own children when I knew something they didn’t. So I began to turn. Not fully, but only slightly, and to my dismay, the light shifted.
As I turned, what was behind me was no longer shrouded in darkness, but instead began to be enlightened, not fully but only slightly. I turned back to the way I was going. Things were still light there. I could still see the way; I could still determine which way I wanted to go. But then, glancing back in the opposite direction, I was able to see more. Bit by bit, I indeed turned. As I did, I saw more and more.
So I went a new way, walking in the direction of the voice. And as I walked that way, there was more and more light, but it only came with each further step…