Do you remember odd things from your childhood education? I remember Mrs. Green in the second grade grabbing my arm, lifting me out of my seat, and spanking me with her hand right at my desk. I remember the fire escape at my old elementary school. I remember watching a classmate “getting sick” in his pencil box at his desk right beside me. I remember, as elementary school students, when we had to contemplate the question, “Where is away?” For example, when you flush the toilet or put out garbage, where does it go? As kids, all we knew was it went away. Now I know it does not go away. It just goes away from me. This morning the guys who work for the company that takes our trash came and took it. It went in the back of their truck and will go to a dump somewhere, and there it will remain. As I waited for them to come this morning I thought about that question, along with many other events from my childhood school days.
While I now have a pretty good idea of where the trash goes, there is something else that goes “away” that I still do not understand completely. The most important and most perplexing “goes away” in our lives is our sin. I understand that Jesus paid for our sins on the cross (1 Peter 3:18). I understand there is no condemnation for us who are His (Romans 8:1). And still, while I know we live forgiven lives, I also know we carry on imperfectly in this fallen world yearning for all things to be made new (Romans 8:18-25).
For now, Lord, may it be enough to know that through our repentance and Your forgiveness, thanks to what Christ has done, that we are forgiven… even as we move forward seeking to be who You would have us to be, until we finally are.