Maybe you’ve asked yourself this question. Or maybe it was more of a declaration, “It is too late for me!” Regardless, I would venture to say that most of us at some point in our lives have pondered this question, or embarked on a similar journey of thought. So, the question here is this – Is it too late for me, or you?
If you take a few minutes to browse social media, blogs, online news, magazines, etc., I have no doubt that you will stumble upon something related to recycling, repurposing, or reclaiming this or that. It’s everywhere – DIY refurbished furniture, how to recycle (fill in the blank), and so on. Over the last few decades it has become increasingly popular to find ways to put to good use things that were once useful but at some point have been declared useless. We’ll return to this thought in a moment.
We are creatures of habit.
We possess addictive personalities. Yes, some may be more prone to bad habits or addictiveness than others, but nevertheless we all have the same propensity to “stick to what we know”, so to speak. In some ways this can be a wonderful thing. Think of the self-sacrificing, most generous person you know. It would seem that they are continually giving of themselves for the benefit of others. This is a good thing. But, on the flip-side, I dare to speculate that many (and by many I mean all) of us have some tendencies or bad habits to which we continually find ourselves returning, and probably wishing we could stop. Do I need to give examples, or are you already thinking of your own? I thought so, let’s continue.
Have you ever come to the point of desperation?
You know, the point where you throw up your hands and quit? Not quit the habit, but quit trying to overcome it? I’m referring to those times when you give in to your weakness and declare yourself useless. In those times it’s so easy to give in to the temptation to bury our shame. We push it down deep into the darkness. We fool ourselves into thinking we can hide this part of ourselves in the depths of our being, and perhaps we think we can just cover up this uselessness with a facade of usefulness – a new identity, a false mask. This is nothing but applying makeup to a corpse. The makeup doesn’t make the corpse alive, it simply covers up the death temporarily. And given enough time death will resurface, the corpse will decay.
It’s time to wake up.
Ephesians 5:11-16 (ESV) says,
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
Let us stop burying our shame in darkness, and stop covering up death with veneers of a false life. It’s time to recover. Recovery isn’t just a trendy way to furnish a home or garden. It’s a timeless act of salvation rooted in something deeper than ourselves, and far more creative than we can conceive. Webster defines it this way,
Recover – to save from loss and restore to usefulness: reclaim.
I’ll take it a step further, recovery is to save from death to life. So, wake up. Arise and live. Walk in the light, because in the light is life. Christ is the ultimate recycler, the master of recovery. His work is not a mere act of covering up a faded, rusty shell of a man. No, his work is redemption, the pinnacle of reclaiming, recovering, renewing, and repurposing. He alone is able to touch death and bring about life.
Is it too late for us? No, step out of the darkness and into the light. Be honest with yourself and others. Be honest with the Creator of the universe. Eyes that are adjusted to darkness will at first be blinded by the overwhelming brightness of light. But the light will cast out death and darkness, it will bring about life.