ONE thing many children brought up in the church don’t have is an ugly past. I wasn’t brought up in the church. Many people who were brought up in the church departed and do have an ugly past — these prodigal sons and daughters. The church is no guarantee that we will live clean lives forevermore, but it is a place where those with an ugly past can go for solace, healing, redemption, and restoration.
That term, “ugly past,” can fit so many of our situations. Sometimes ugliness was brought on by ourselves. Other times it was brought on by others. Occasionally it’s brought on by life. So, an ugly past does not in any way equate to ugly personhood.
But, notwithstanding all this, God has a future for anyone who would choose to transcend their ugly past. There are some who will read this who will say, “Yes, I cannot help but agree with you; from my direct experience… (or) through the experience of somebody else I’ve observed.”
Anyone can turn their life around.
It takes tenacity and persistence. It takes vision and determination. It takes sacrifice.
It takes situational awareness. It takes on a journey context — moving further and further away from the epicentre of destruction into peace-lit lands of contemplation.
It takes everything we have, and that’s because it requires everything we have. But when we have very little, and what we have is worthless, we see what we want of the good life, and we’re prepared to grasp it with both hands.
There is a child involved; children, perhaps. There is a partner in need; a partner to be loved. There is a home to restore. There are lives to be reclaimed. There is peace to be had. There is joy to be experienced. There is hope to be imagined.
Simply put, nothing else matters now than to focus on the simple things of life. The dark life put behind us, the light of life beckons through and we are content living with our very simplest needs met. And God is good. He provides.
There is hope if we aspire toward that life of simplicity in a complex world.
Nothing can be taken away from such a life and certainly nothing of value can be added.
The best life prevails with profound simplicity for the blessings incumbent in, through, and for us.
When darkness is gone we are so thankful for the morning. There is a future that transcends all the ugliness of the past. Believe and it will become true.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.