The Beauty of Redemption Seen in Unexpected Places

I drive a beat up old Jeep named Magee (pronounced Maggie) and honestly driving her around, even on the hottest of Ga days, is one of my favorite things to do. It may sound silly, but it just makes me happy, so even doing the most mundane of errands ends up being a blast. After I got her, I started to notice there was a short in the radio, which would cut on and off sporadically until completely shutting down on a July 4th road trip. I went to get it fixed, but felt God telling me to just leave it. I am definitely an introvert in that I cherish my alone and quiet time and Magee has become a sanctuary of sorts and I don't think I will ever get her radio fixed simply because it forces me to have times where I'm not surrounded by "noise".

All that being said, with the heat the last month or so, I have gotten in the habit of borrowing my daddy's truck on Sundays. To get to my church I drive primarily on the highway, and that is the one place having a jeep isn't always relaxing; the asphalt just seems to be 20 degrees hotter. So to prevent myself from showing up at church stinking like outside and sweat (something even Chanel can't cover), I take the truck, which does have a radio and I have also gotten in the habit of listening to some of my favorite throwbacks on DaveFm.

Sunday I was driving home after an amazing service, talking to God about the message and the song "Freshman" by The Verve Pipe came on. So I instinctively turned up the music as loud as it could go, and sang at the top of my lungs, because it is one of those songs that, for some reason, seems to grab something deep within me. We all have those songs, the ones that when we hear it we are transported to another time or place; songs that seem to help us find the words our hearts are trying to get out, but before we really put our finger on it, the song is over. This being 2012 not 1996, however, I later pulled out my iphone and googled the lyrics. I knew what I thought the song meant, but I wondered what the author was trying to say and I found out the reason my heart connected to this now "classic" song. The song tells of a couple that find themselves young and pregnant and end up having an abortion. Although I can't relate to that exact heartache, looking back on my past mistakes, the lyrics definitely speak to the naivety that comes with being young and not being able to grasp how my choices would in anyway affect my future. As the song says: for the life of me, I cannot remember what made us think that we were wise and we'd never compromise for the life of me, I cannot believe we'd ever die for these sins we were merely freshmen I'm not sure why when we're younger we have this false idea that we will get a "free pass" because we're young. When I was 16, I never thought that the junk I ate and the cigarettes I smoked would have any affect on my future. I knew that there were countless articles trying to warn me, but I felt good, so I was fine, right? And what about the girl I made fun of in 6th period class? I'm not gonna to lie, from time to time the memory of being such a jerk randomly pops up in my head bringing tears that sting my eyes. How could I be so utterly hateful just to make my friends laugh...

Not to mention the choices, which in the moment seemed inconsequential, but literally haunted me for years. We all have them. Those things we pray that no one, not even those closest to us, find out about. Those things that when it's just us at night with our head on our pillow, remind us we'll never be good enough. Those decisions that threaten to cover us so completely with the crushing weight of shame, that we fear we will never recover... But... In the end it's those very things that magnify the redemptive power of the cross... Joseph told his brothers that God used the thing they meant for evil for good... The cross that was intended to snuff out the life of Christ is the very tool used to redeem us... So I'm sure 20 years from now I'll look back on this time like I now look back on being 15 and wonder "for the life of me I cannot remember what made us think that we were wise and we'd never compromise." But unlike the young couple that beautiful song is about, because of the very real truth of the cross I won't need to make excuses or blame anyone else for my actions. Nor will I fear the crushing weight that shame brings because I have already been redeemed...

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