Just What We Need

“Repent.” Mark 1:15c

Repenting is much harder than we thought. It is harder than giving up chocolate for Lent, though that is hard. It is harder than honestly facing our sins, though that is harder, I think, than giving up chocolate.

Repenting is hard because as Marcus Borg has shown, to repent “is to go beyond the mind that you have.” And not just once.

To go beyond the mind that we have is to rewire our brains continually. As the apostle Paul said it, long before modern neurology, “be not conformed to the ways of this world, but be ye transformed by the renewal of your mind.” This is the bubbling spring of our spiritual work.

Repent, says Jesus. He really thinks we can do this lifelong set of moves. We need courage to let go of how we understood things yesterday. We need strength to learn that compassion for all, including ourselves, really is what we are here for. Repenting is harder than we thought, and just what we need for all that ails us.