(September 25, 2014)
When I was in the depths of my worst sins and vices, I would sometimes need to take airplane rides for various reasons. At the time, I was deathly afraid of flying, so when I had a trip coming up I would repent and get out of my issues for a week or two before my trip. As the plane taxied down the runway on take-off, I would desperately pray that Heavenly Father would protect me on my flight so that I could make my repentance more permanent. When I arrived back home, I would try to keep that promise, but days, weeks, or months later I would be back to my old ways – forgetting the promises that I made to the Lord for my deliverance.
It has been a long time, and I have finally moved beyond my wickedness in this way, but I think back to those unkept promises and I realize that I need to repent of them. Like the people in the time of Ezra, I was so quick to forget my deliverance when I reached a point of comfort. But the Lord was always there to answer my prayers (and not just by keeping a plane in the air, but in every way I needed Him to be there for me). I was not a good son to Him for such a long time, and I am still not. But I am beginning to understand what being a good son to Him means and to desire that result.
I think that is a major difference. Rather than attempting to bargain with the Lord (“help me and I’ll repent!”), I am beginning to want to do the right thing just because it is the right thing. This week, I purged a significant weakness out of my life – not in negotiation for some result or protection from some fear, but just that the Lord asked if of me. Despite challenges since then, I find myself so overwhelmingly optimistic about things that I am feeling the Lord’s influence holding me back – I want to rush out and find the next thing I can repent of or sacrifice to the Lord (and I think He wants me to make the changes I made this week stick before I move on).