please never, ever forget
the angels' hands filled with confetti
or that God had on his dancing shoes--
how all of heaven waited in anticipation
the moment Jesus called on you by name
A Cause for Celebration
You, living into your truest self, are a cause for celebration. You, revisiting the original design God had on your being, is worth breaking out the bubbly and throwing confetti into the air. People often hear the word repentance and feel a pit forming in their stomach--as if repentance were an order given by a harsh teacher and a reminder that we are falling short of expectations. Is repentance a command? Yes. Is it a command given because God is scowling at us, wishing we could just be better already? Definitely not.
When you walked the halls of high school, I imagine you were met with a variety of successes and failures, and teachers who interacted with you in regards to both. If you weren't living up to your potential, you were typically greeted with one of two types: those who were annoyed at your inability to achieve, or those who looked at you, saw your potential for greatness, and called you to higher things. God falls into that second category. He is for you. Repentance is simply allowing yourself to believe that he loves you and that what he asks you to do is for your benefit.
A quick Google search of "repentance scripture" will bring you a long list of places in the Bible where this word is found. Ready for the fun part? There is always hope associated with it. There is always goodness God has in store for you. See for yourself...
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 ESV
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 ESV
When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.” Acts 11:18 ESV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 ESV
Are you sensing a theme? Repentance is always paired with good things. You are forgiven, you receive the Holy Spirit, you get LIFE. Though it may seem counterintuitive at first, saying "no" to some of your guilty pleasures will ultimately bring you more pleasure in the end. God wants to see you turn towards him and towards the ways of living that he knows will cause you to thrive. He is your MAKER. He built you and wrote the instruction manual. Repentance is agreeing to operate your life according to its design.
And the angels rejoice when you make the choice to start running properly. God wants to see you do well in all areas. He wants your emotional life to flourish (rather than seeing you fall into anger, sadness, and regret). He wants to see your relationships bring vibrancy into your world, not suck the color out of it. He wants to see family units functioning in a way that brings the next generation up to know who he is, including marriages that reflect a divine level of self-sacrifice and courageous love. Ultimately, he wants to see you at your best.
You being the you that you were created to be is a yuuuuge reason to celebrate.
So, if you hear Jesus calling on you today, if you feel in your heart that something just isn't right, ask God for wisdom. He will tell you where you need to repent. With kindness, he will inspire you to pursue a higher calling. And when you turn to choose him, don't be surprised if you see a few sparkles fall from the sky.