Purity 221 09/23/2020
Today’s photo comes from a friend who was out fishing this weekend and caught this picture of a trees who is bearing the evidence that Autumn, both meteorologically and astronomically now, is here!
Autumn reminds me of back to school and the fact that sometimes we have to relearn what we already “know” from what we learned last year!
As I advance in years, sometimes it seems that “all things are new” because I am relearning, reminding myself, or gaining deeper levels of understanding. Beyond that sometimes I am just learning things because I just plain forgot!
Also in this confusing thing called life, we are sometimes forced to learn something we were supposed to learn but actually never did and just faked our way through it!
When we do this we feel like we get away with something and sometimes we do. We go through the rest of our lives never having to know what we were supposed to learn because it never comes up. We are never tested so it doesn’t matter.
The real life example of this for me was a concept in math that I didn’t quite grasp completely... that of factoring equations - that process of reducing things or changing them to a form that allows you to solve an equation, making all sides equal.
I might not be a math whiz but I could do it, but when the test started throwing fractions and parentheses and powers and negative signs and fractions on top of fractions in parentheses and etc.... I would just sort of fudge it and hope for the best...
This strategy got me C’s in precalculus in highschool but I figured I was not going to do any more math really and managed to graduate college with never having to open a calculus book or even do algebra again. I won. Sorry math, you’re not needed here! Hahaha!
As fate would have it, after years of doing things my way and avoiding challenges, I was faced with a dilemma.
I was on a path that was going to most likely lead to my being fired from my job... when you do things your way sometimes it rubs people the wrong way and what is acceptable or tolerated when you are performing above average is deemed highly unacceptable when your performance slips. And sure enough as soon as my performance slipped, my faults seemed to take center stage and I was under the gun.
I had two options - change or get out.
Well back in 2009 - when this went down - I was completely incapable of change! I was fully immersed in my double life of family man and worker by day and alcoholic/addict by night. I just went through life reacting to everything. I couldn’t slow down or concentrate consistently and would just let things slip in order to get to the next thing, leaving things left unsaid or undone. When you’re under scrutiny it’s suddenly about perfection and consistency, neither of which were strong suits for me.
But luckily there was a program at work to become an outside tech. But a requirement of the program was to go back to college and get an associates degree in telecommunications.
To get in the college I had to take an entrance exam and specifically pass the math portion of the test!
One test. One chance. Passing equals escape and a possibility of a future.
Failing most likely leads to a road to unemployment.
How would you like to stake your entire career’s future on a math test?
Well, I did. And luckily it wasn’t too difficult because my score was good enough to get in!
Later, I would actually have to do algebra and precalculus again in order to graduate! And I now I actually have a much better grasp on factoring equations but am not volunteering to do any equations any time soon.
So my point is, life is much easier when we learn what we are supposed to learn the first time.
In Christ, we have to learn we have been forgiven and set free.
When we don’t accept our forgiveness , we feel condemned - always guilty, always beating ourselves up. So learn it! You are forgiven. Those things are gone, let’s leave them behind!
We also have to know we have been set free from sin and death.
We have eternal life in Christ, when we learn this we don’t fear death or anything else...
We have been given the power to say no to sin. When we learn this we say no to the things that drag us down and make us feel guilty. So learn it and walk in it!
It’s amazing the joy we have when we don’t have anything to hide or feel guilty for.
So let’s learn what we were supposed to learn a long time ago.
It’s okay, sometimes we need to learn again. Sometimes we need to understand more. Sometimes we just need to remember what we forgot.
When we follow Christ, we can do all of the above with the assurance of His forgiveness and love.