Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Repeat (01/24/13)
- TITLE: Again and Again
By Michelle Knoll
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But God doesn't think like that.
For instance, God didn't create the earth and then shoot it like a rock from a sling shot, hurtling through time and space from one point to another. No, He used a different thought pattern and made the earth spin in a circle, round and round. Then, on top of that, He made it travel through a circle around the sun, again and again. And to top that off, He created a moon that circles the earth! Every number of days, the moon ends up looking the same, just like it did before. New moon, first quarter, half moon, third quarter, full moon. Just to go back and do it again. So from moon, to earth, to earth around the sun, we have cycle upon cycle upon cycle.
But God didn't stop there. He created seasons that occur every year, one right after the other, in the same pattern year after year. He created plants which produce seeds, which fall to the ground and germinate, which grow into new plants, which produce more seeds. And on and on it goes. Trees produce leaves, only to lose them, and then grow leaves again, only to lose them again. The waves at the ocean follow the same cyclical pattern. So do the tides. In, out, in, out. Rain falls to the ground, gets evaporated, and makes clouds, which in turn form rain.
If you look around you, you see whispers of this same type of thinking. Musical notes use the same names over and over again, through the octaves. The hands on the clock move through the same hours in the morning and the afternoon, through the middle of the day and through the night. School starts the same time of the year, and ends the same time of the year. All of our celebrations are based on a cycle of days, including the most important ones: birthday, our personal day of salvation, wedding day, and so on. If you think about it, going to work or school or the grocery store is a cycle of sorts. You go out, and then you come back home. Back and forth.
And God created the Sabbath, a regular celebration of His creation called "Time." As a matter of fact, all the things He commanded the Israelites to celebrate follow a cyclical pattern.
There's a secret in His way of thinking that is beneficial to our lives. He created everything to follow a cycle for a reason. Two reasons, actually.
First, God wants us to "remember." God commanded the children of Israel to teach their children the stories of deliverance, over and over again, each and every year. Even Jesus said, "Again I say unto you..." He made a habit of saying the same things over and over again. Why? So His disciples would remember! He wants us to look at His creation and all of its cycles as a reminder to practice remembering. Repeat His Word, over and over again, so we will remember. Teach our children, over and over again, so they will remember.
Second, God wants us to "return." Every time we fail Him, He wants us to return to Him. Every time the children of Israel rebelled, there were consequences. However, God always took them back. He always said "Return to Me." He doesn't want us stacking up our memories of faults, failures, and sins in a neat, straight line, because He knows as we pile those memories up, the guilt will only serve to knock us down. Oh, there are still consequences from sin. But God is calling us to remember His Love, and return to Him.
God is ever forgiving. Again and again. Long before Jesus was crucified, God said His mercies, lovingkindnesses and compassions were new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Every day is a new day to serve again, to pray again, to seek His face, and to know His Love. Over and over again.
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