I’ve noticed a repeated theme in Christian lingo – a metaphorical cliche. It’s the idea of a journey, or path, or roadmap. We follow a path to salvation, we’re on a journey as believers, the Bible offers a roadmap for how we are to live.
I don’t find this metaphor very interesting anymore. I think there’s a better, more compelling story to be told.
Mumford & Sons touches on this in one of their songs, and this lyric in particular stood out to me the other day:
It seems as if all my bridges have been burned,
You say that’s exactly how this grace thing works
It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart,
But the welcome I receive at the restart
At the heart of the gospel is this idea that even if we blow everything up and burn down all our bridges, Jesus still says, “Please come home. I’m waiting for you. The BBQ is ready!”
Every minute of every day provides me with the opportunity for a new start.
As someone who struggles with losing her temper, this is amazing. No matter how quick I am to rage, I can always stop, repent to God and my kids, and start over.
As someone with a husband, two feisty children, and a heart open to community, this is sobering. The responsibility of receiving others at their restart is heavy. I like to wallow in my bitterness and stew in my justification, but Jesus calls me to welcome those who repent, and he calls me to shepherd my children into a lifestyle of repentance.
This is far more compelling to me than the journey itself. Anybody can get from Point A to Point B, and a lot of people do it without Jesus. But Jesus is the miracle behind a heart of repentance and forgiveness, the power behind our ability to give and receive a new start.