Friday, January 29, 2010

The Course Set In Motion

Some people choose self-pity, others choose repentance and the result of that seemingly small decision sets in motion courses so varying, the contrast is of the similitude of night and day.

Unfavorable circumstances arise and we do not attribute them to the fruit of sin but rather random occurrences. They are the fruit of sin nonetheless. Our sin, the sin of others, Adam’s sin, all have brought consequences we must bear this side of heaven. When it comes to our decision of how we will face unfavorable circumstances we have two choices, self-pity or repentance no matter who set the course in motion. It is a crossroad wherein we have the opportunity to choose greatness or depravity.

The young would ask, "But why should we have to repent of Adam’s sin when it is not ours?" The answer to that question is easy when we understand God's original design before the fall, the course of events set into motion by Adam’s sin and what repentance is and means for us.

We know from Adam’s sin that the whole of creation was cursed and now lies in a fallen state groaning for the day of restoration. Man’s commission from God is to take dominion over the earth. This was his commission even before Adam’s sin. He is called to dominion. Now man’s work also includes confronting the curse in his daily work. Confronting sin and righting it so that it reflects the original creation whether it is a weed in the soil of man's heart or a curse upon the flesh or ground or any part of creation. Dominion for Christ is our duty so that the whole world is righted to a state based on His wisdom, His order, His design.

Fallen man rejects this duty. He revolts against it. He wishes that he would not have it upon his shoulders. He doesn’t want to right creation to a state of godliness. He wants to do his own will. He wants to do what he wants and not put his hand to the plow that the Lord commissioned him to. Instead he lets the ground lie fallow, weedy, diseased. His field is overcome and because it is left so, his neighbors suffer due to his disobedience to the orders the Lord has laid upon him. “It’s not fair that I should have to plow!” he says in earshot of his neighbor. All the while his neighbor groans under the burden of his own labors and the additional burden he unjustly has to bear because of his neighbor's sloth.

How influential slothful men are! How they do curse their brother with that which will do him in! In the end his blood is on the slothful man's head, for surely he has failed him. God calls such sloth wickedness and rightly so.

Self-pity brings our own demise, though it tempts us to blame others for our circumstances. It causes God to resist us in our pride. Such indulgence does not change the expectation of the Lord that we repent and take dominion over the effects of sin. We are still required to change the circumstances, to repent, whether the circumstances arise from our own sin or the sin of others.

Run the race and do not indulge in such sin. Self-pity is so very addictive. Once the sinner has acquired a taste he cannot be satisfied unless he increasingly drinks more of it. It makes waste of those who would otherwise be great. The repentant pass him by while he lies drunken in his stupor. They tell him to repent, come along, be free, and be filled but he has still the taste in his mouth from his last drink, and drowsy he cannot even imagine anything other than that which intoxicates him now.

He is helpless. Or is he? He is not. He can still beg the Lord to grant him the repentance, which he cannot gain for himself. And he can obey as the Lord grants repentance. He can repent and he can start with the meager resources he has left hidden under the corrupted ground he’s not attended to. He finds a freshness of spirit incomparable to his experience. He drinks in a new air deeply and is revived. He sees the weeds of a corrupt creation and an invigorating challenge. A conqueror is birthed! How heroic is the man that repents on his own volition for he sets in motion the course of recreation of all things fallen! The ground sings his praises. His brethren rejoice beside him! The Lord blesses and aids him! His enemies fear his boldness! He is a model for his fellow man who follow and walk beside him. He brings great relief and lifts burdens of his neighbors. His legacy revels in the memory of his presence.

Recommended Resources
The Weed With An Ill Name
19th Century Classic Collection
The Essential Family Literature Collection

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