I began what I hope becomes a lenten discipline this morning meditating on the Gospel of Mark. Mark begins his gospel around the theme of repentance. I’ve always been taught that repentance means to confess your sins and to go a new direction, to literally turn 180 degrees. As I reflected on Mark 1:1-8 I realized that true repentance in my life is more than simply turning around. I identified four clear steps: stopping, agreeing (or confessing), surrendering, and moving in a new direction.
Too often I get steps one and four, but neglect steps two and three. I realize the direction I am going is off and I start heading in a new direction. That works well for a time, but because I didn’t take the time to agree with God on what was going on and why the way I was traveling (both means and direction) was off, my new direction is not guaranteed to be the right direction. Also, when I fail to surrender my life to God I find that I set out in a new direction on my own strength, which is certain to fail. That in turns often results in ending up right back in the same place from which I started.
This season, this Lent, I am going to be intentional about stopping, truly stopping and listening. I am going to be intentional about coming into agreement with God on what is going on inside and outside my life. I am going to seek to surrender to His design, to the Way. So that, at the end of Lent, with resurrection power under my wings, I may set off in a new direction and soar like the eagles without growing weary or fainting.