Often we think of repentance as traveling down a road and then making a conscious turn in another direction, sometimes a simple turn to the right or the left, sometimes a complete 180-degree turn in the opposite direction. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if repentance were truly that simple? Instead, repentance more closely resembles the churning of a tornado. As repentant people, we weave our way on an unpredictable path, twisting and turning to look back at the behaviors and attitudes that lure us even when we know that we must turn away from them. Repentance is not usually a singular event. Like a tornado, we repeat our sin, then turn away from it, only to return to it again. Sometimes repentance feels violent.
The good news in the gospel of Jesus Christ is that repentance, like a tornado, also brings with it transformation.
Have you ever experienced a “tornado of the soul.” Where did you find the resolve, strength, and courage to put a sinful attitude or behavior behind you once and for all? How were you restored?
This message was adapted from “Who Am I, Anyway?” by Terry L. Bowes that appeared in the March 1998 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.