How can I repent of my great misunderstanding? I have hacked away at life, looking for triumphs, wishing for success, claiming wins. Bur somehow I have severely misunderstood this thing called life.
I thought it was about making a living, about survival and then success. It was about amassing enough income and wealth that I could provide and be comfortable; about having accomplishments of career that validated me. It was a game, and I was to prove that I could compete. I did not have to win, but I could not lose. I could work the system at least enough not to starve.
But life isn't about working the system. It's not even about being comfortable. Its about active, aggressive, loving abandonment to God. It's about selflessly loving those around me.
How could I have missed it so? How could I have been blind to the work of God's reconciliation all around me?
I have this growing belief that I have been so shaped in my thinking by this American culture that I can't even recognize how God wants me to live. My pattern of thinking is so distorted that I can barely fathom what Jesus says in scripture. How can I possibly understand what he says to me in prayer?
Like Descartes, I need to start at the foundation. What is this thing called life? What's it for? What's my role in it? How does God communicate it all to me? Am I even listening? How does the framework of my mind need to be restructured?
I know I need to repent. That is, I finally realize that every perspective and belief I hold is suspect, and I must be brought under the authority of Jesus. May he somehow break through my Westernized encoding and renew my mind. May he transform me.
May more scales fall from my eyes. How I long to see.
I want to repent, and I don't know how to start. I don't even know what's wrong with my assumptions. I am unaware of my preconceptions. I have been blind, but maybe now I am beginning to see. It's a slow, terrifying dawning.
I see my old self in the attitudes of others. Inwardly I cringe. I feel more and more isolated because I see the flaws, the hypocrisy. I see the arrogance, the pride, the shallowness. I see myself, my old self, I hope.
It's hard to repent when I barely understand my sin. But I know it's there. I know my perspective is much more Western than Christian. That's why it's so hard to see myself through the eyes of Jesus. I already know what he sees, but my knowing is mostly assuming, and now I fear it is mostly wrong.
I can't keep conforming to the pattern of this world--even church world--but I must be transformed by the renewing of my mind.
God has his work cut out for him. But then, he is God, and in the cross and the resurrection, he has already done the work.
Lord, help me repent.