February 2015

A Blank Page


Most of us have favourite stories, poems and bible readings that we have read and re-read. Our favourite passages in the book become a bit more worn than the rest. It has been said that our lives are like a book. The older we become the more pages and chapters have been written. And there are parts of our life’s book that we reread more frequently, while in fact most of the pages and chapters are simply forgotten.

I wonder what page(s) of our life most dominates our thinking, emotions, reflection, horizons of hope and perspective. Many of us are tempted to live in a past chapter or the endless retelling of a certain page without any idea of the power and grace of God that offers a life based on the freedom of the unwritten.

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43: 18,19

I find it amazing the numbers of people I come into contact with (including myself) who have so much trouble letting a ‘page’ go. Couples can find themselves continually agitated and conflicted by a page long gone that they simply chose to keep replaying. Nations can doggedly keep turning back history to events or mythologies that define them sometimes for the good and sometimes to retell ancient grievances.

All human groups (including churches) can be tempted to either ignore some pages or force their eyes back to re-read a golden age (that was probably never really all that golden). The human heart can often find it easier to frame the future with all the baggage of yesterday’s pages.

Isaiah reveals the heart of God that while recognising the complexities of the present has none the less set a new order, a new page, the transformative possibility of a resurrected Way that has a new heart beat, a new history and a re-stabilised sense of gravity as life presses into the magnificence of God who;“ ... for my own sake...” generates a new page, a fresh pen and the opportunity to live without the weight of past transgressions or the regrets and complexities of guilt that can hold us pinned like an insect under crushing atmospheres of convenient habits or wilful neglect.

As we approach Lent once more, it calls us into a spiritual season of reflection and possibility. Not just dwelling on what has been but, more especially, that we may begin to find the profound stirring of God’s heart releasing new waves of joy, imagination and hope.

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

 

David
February 2015