Posts Tagged ‘#doitthenfeelit’

Over the past three weeks I have been researching the topic of forgiveness, since writing about it in my post A Lesson in Forgiveness, where I wrote of how I felt God was stalking me with the topic of forgiveness.

Then, Sunday afternoon, as I was driving down the highway, as the sun was shining bright in the clear blue sky, the words of Ann Voskamp whispered into my thoughts,

“gratitude always precedes the miracle”

Her understanding being that we do not wait until the miracle happens to be thankful, but we are thankful first and the miracle follows. The question then is, what is the miracle?

the ‘thing’ we hoped and prayed for?

or the change in our hearts and minds?

So what does this have to do with forgiveness?

Good question.

When my children were young they were known to say or do something that hurt, offended or frustrated their sibling. When this would occur, I would instruct that they must apologize to their sibling. This was not always met with agreement, on their part, yet I insisted on this. Then the offended sibling was instructed to offer forgiveness.

I remember hearing a mom say that she thought that such insistence on this practise of going through the motions was pointless, for they were simply saying words that were expected of them.

Her words made me ponder … did I simply insist on this ritual because it was what I had grown up hearing and doing? was there a greater purpose behind the practise?

The more I pondered, the more resolute I became in my belief that this behavioural modification did, indeed, have good and long lasting positive impact.

I observed that, once the apologies were said and forgiveness given, play continued … unhindered by the offences of the past. The forced apologies and pardons acted as a reset button, providing opportunity to start over.

Though this is an example from childhood, perhaps it has something to teach us in adulthood (and it is so much easier to instruct the young than for us to be instructed in our adulthood).

Perhaps our offerings of forgiveness
do not need to be felt to do do their good work.
Perhaps they are,
quite simply,
an investment in the future
… our future.

As I drove down the highway, last Sunday. As the sun was shining bright in the clear blue sky. As I was, once again, able to sing praises from my soul (not just from my lips. I understood the value in having offered forgiveness to those who have never offered apology. I understood that. like Ann Voskamp’s quote about thanksgiving preceding the miracle,

forgiveness of the will
forgiveness in the heart

What I had done out of rote practise, with little expectation, other than compliance, obedience, birthed delightful freedom, like a reset button had been pressed, in my own soul.

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