“It takes a long time to get right,” she said as their prayer meeting concluded. She spoke of her past, of alcoholism and abuse. She spoke today from a place of strength, but the hard realities of the past still brought tears to her eyes as she shared.
And she’s right. It DOES take a long time to get right. Growing up evangelical, I learned that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). As a child at my church and young in my faith, I understood sin to be bad things I did and death to be essentially death and hell.
Now as an adult, I see sin and it’s respective wages more broadly. Sin still is the bad things I do, but also the wrong thoughts I entertain, the brokenness I hold into within myself, the broken systems I (we) adhere to, and the fallenness of the world around us.
With such a broad scope, it does take a long time to get right. I think of friends who strive to walk rightly now, but carry in their bodies the physical ailments of years of drugs usage. I think of restored citizens, coming out of prison systems and having paid for their crimes, but not sure how to actually use an e-mail; missing that technology during their incarceration. I think of brothers and sisters in faith paying child support for children that are now adults.
There are lots of wages for walking foolishly.
And yet how honorable is it to see men and women strive to do what’s right! One of the deepest joys of the South Street family is seeing people walk rightly, seeing them become their fullest selves in Christ!
One such person is our Youth Director Bob Irwin. Bob is the first in his family to graduate high school. He has helped lead our After School and Summer Camp programs for over 5 years. He is quick to volunteer his time and in simple yet consistent ways seeks out God’s good in his life.
In Bob’s time at South Street he has ran his first 5k, fasted from pop/soda, and recently posted this on facebook:
Running for me has been an incredible journey. It has been a journey that many of you have been on with me. And like most journeys it has felt like a roller coaster ride. With ups and downs, twist and turns, and maybe even a loopy loop or two thrown in there. God first started me on this ride by simply going on a hike last summer with a friend at the gorge here in Akron. A place that until then i have never been to before. I lived most my adult life here in Akron but never been there before then. To make a long story short, when i first started running i hated it and hated life! Then i kind of started to enjoy it! My back still hurts but i kind of liked it. I ran a couple 5ks and a 4 mile and a 10k. And i have a 8k this saturday that i am going to attempt with a big goal of a half marathon in September. I am right mow climbing out of the valley the low point with running i haven’t done it at all since may 31st. Granted thats not forever ago but i lose stuff very fast with this. My point in sharing this was to tell you all about the intimacy with God that i have found by running and pushing myself past what i think i can do. Now to be honest am i going to immediately put down the burger and pick up a tofu burger? HECKS NAW!!! But i have to remember whats is the goal? Is it really to drop some LBS? Or is it to be as close to God as possible? If i do shed a few thats great! But i have to remember God is the most important relationships ever! And so if but doing something as crazy as running or whatever gets you as intimate with God thats what we have to do no matter how foolish we may look or anything. And as with me and running there will be good times and bad times times we feel we can fly and times we feel we are going to drown! Just remember whatever we do do it for God glory!
For me walking humbly is meeting men like Bob, and the woman who shared of her brokenness where they are at, celebrating God’s love in their lives, and then watching the transformation over time as the wages of sin are exchanged for the gift of life, today and forever.