“Come clean” is a curious expression. Its meaning aligns more with airing dirty laundry than handing out clean linen. Another vantage point heralds disclosing secrets, exposing hidden sin and harbored ill will, all with the intent of resolving regret and moving forward with a fresh start. Such mindset generally assumes the form of hopeful resolve aimed at an altered and more desirable condition. I am unopposed to harbingers of a New Year’s wake up call, but there is an insurmountable hurdle on my way to a better me. Here is the sad truth — there is nothing worth salvaging from the old me. Duct tape does nothing to alter states; it merely temporarily allows a blemish to function to a lesser degree. Remembering failed efforts at self-help nauseates me. What I want most is my past to be utterly unrecognizable. The man I long to be is not a remodeled version of a previous edition; in fact, it doesn’t resemble me at all, but acts and sounds conspicuously like Jesus Christ.
The Cross is not a metaphor; it is an actual altar of hideous execution. The Cross defines life by demanding death. It has absolutely nothing to do with improvement, and everything to do with transformation.
“Our Lord never patches up our natural virtues, He remakes the whole man on the inside” (Oswald Chambers).
Instead of New Year’s resolutions, grant me a grave to mark both end and beginning. Eradicate independent striving and replace it with struggle of a newborn entering the world entirely dependent on his mother.
I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee.
Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died;
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.
Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the pow’r of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.
Oh, the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend!
There are depths of love that I cannot know
Till I cross the narrow sea;
There are heights of joy that I may not reach
Till I rest in peace with Thee.
(Fanny Crosby, 1875)