Monday, August 15, 2011

Probably Not What Robert Frost Had In Mind

"I love driving on new roads." - redeemedstory

Despite the fact that my wife believes Twitter has as much functionality and practical use for the world at large as I would have for a jar of styling gel, it does produce many quality things. I've made several good, solid connections on there with people that I believe I would be fast, fast friends with in person. Among them, Ernie. He who is responsible for the quote found above.

When I read it the other day, I thought back to my recent trip home to Mississippi to visit my mom. My wife and I have a 1999 Toyota RAV 4 that serves as our sole vehicle for transportation. We'd like for the darn thing to stay in decent shape, since buying a car isn't in the foreseeable financial future. To that end, we are somewhat careful how hard we ride it going from Point A to Point B. Unfortunately, the Highway Commission of the great State of Alabama doesn't apparently give a crap, since the roads that extend the length and breadth of the state - especially from the GA/AL state line up until around Birmingham - have more crack in them you can find in five seasons of The Wire. When making the return trip home to SC, once we hit the GA state line there was a marked difference in the way the journey felt. It was...smooth. Even. Fresh. Unblemished.

So of course after reading Ernie's quote, my mind went all metaphorical.

When we are forgiven of sin, a clean heart is restored in us. The existing cracks are gone. It is fresh, new, unblemished, and even. But just because we are redeemed, it doesn't mean that that road won't be traveled on again and again.

Think about a struggle you may have (let's get all Biblical and call it a thorn in your flesh - just to drive the point home). You sin. Then you are forgiven. And then - the temptation comes again. For those of us who have a continual struggle against something, while we would LOVE to be able to just put it behind us and never walk that way again, the reality is that both life and circumstances have a way bringing it back. And if not life and circumstances, we have an enemy who takes great delight in doing what he can to bring down.

The difference is, after grace has paved your heart, when that temptation causes you travel back over it again, the journey is easier. You may not stumble as quickly this time, if you even stumble at all. You're traveling over a new road, a new heart, in spite of the fact that your highway robber of a sin may be the same one that has held you up and plagued you again and again.

We simply need to not get cocky and think that just because THAT trip was easier it doesn't mean they all will be. Even the roads in GA will start to crack and break down due to repeated travels over them. Sometimes what travels over your heart may be a light as a Smart Car. Other times, you've got an overloaded double-length tractor trailer pushing down on your heart. Without continual maintenance and checking your heart - guarding it, some might say - one small hairline fracture/sin might lead to your heart being something no one really wants to take a journey on or with.

I love driving on new roads. I love journeying on a new heart.

No matter the age or condition of either, nothing is beyond repair.

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