The village of Ada has been undergoing a major redesign. They are not simply placing new street signs or lampposts. They have been tearing down buildings. They have shifted main street one block to the north. And Ada Drive is currently closed as they raise the road 6 feet to align with new elevations. It has been costly – and a painful disruption for those who travel that way on a regular basis. But there is no other way to accomplish the substantive improvements that they have targeted.
It seems to me that there are some lessons there for how we approach spiritual change. We all want to change and grow but sometimes we are unwilling to pay the price. We are unwilling to be inconvenienced. We want to avoid anything that might be too arduous or painful. We want to keep our pride intact. But lasting change requires addressing the infrastructure. We have to get down to the level of the heart. If you are struggling with pornography, you might need to revert to a “dumb phone” in order to create more accountability. If you are given to angry outbursts, you need to walk through the painful steps of confession. If you are in the grip of depression, you need to commit to a regular discipline of Scripture memorization and meditation to reshape your thought patterns. You need to learn to talk to yourself instead of listening yourself.
In the Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis introduces us to Eustace. Eustace was a miserable and selfish boy who found himself in Narnia with his cousins – Edmond and Lucy. On a mysterious island, Eustace is transformed into a dragon. He is transformed into a creature that corresponds with his true nature. He tries to peel away his scales to get down to his human skin – but to no avail. Finally, the lion Aslan comes and uses his claws to peel away a deeper level. It is unthinkably painful – but finally Eustace found healing.
Have you gotten to the bottom of your sin?
Photo credit: https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kalama,_WA_-_road_construction_01.jpg