Repentance: the happy sad emotion of the blessed
Who can forget the wonderful movie Robin Hood starring the dashing handsome Errol Flynn and the beautiful Olivia DeHavilland? While the good King Richard the Lion Hearted is out of the Country, the rotten Sheriff of Nottingham and his cohorts are up to no good.
Robin, with a love for his country, honor and courage, and a keen sense of fairness, fights against injustice and risks his life to do good.
Robin has no respect for wrong authorities. He thumbs his nose at them and gives them a hard time. But when King Richard the Lion Hearted returns, he at first travels incognito, because of the personal danger to him and so he can quietly discover what is happening in his kingdom. Through fate, Robin meets up with the King in the forest. And when the King takes off his monkish garb to reveal his kingly attire, Robin drops to one knee and says: My Lord."
This mighty man of valor would bow his knee to no man except before the one who is really respectable.
And of course, the beautiful Olivia DeHavilland did not want to marry the terrible person they had in mind for her. She liked Robin because he was truly noble and worthy of her hand.
And so it is in life. Everywhere there are weak and wrong authorities. Some are half way decent but not strong enough. Others are scoundrels. Many are simply selfish or misguided. Where is the noble person we can truly respect?
Fortunately, there are such noble men and women around. Perhaps you are destined to become one of them. But in order to become the person of wisdom, grace, and courage, you must travel a special road of discovery. And upon this road you will learn to give up what has blocked you from developing to your full potential. It has been faithlessness, selfishness, resentment and judgment that separated you from your own ground of being. Once separated you could only compensate from the outside. Knowledge, popularity, and setting goals made you more and more like the ones who tempted you to resent them in the first place.
How to get back? Well, there is a protocol involved. Our Creator is the Good King, and we have all betrayed Him and sold ourselves down the river for a few trinkets, perks or popularity.
Then when conscience, our closest link to God, made us aware we had done something wrong, we ran from conscience into distractions, emotions, and imagination.
But if you could become still and permit your conscience to dawn on you, it would begin to make you aware of what it has been trying to wordlessly tell you all along. And if instead of reaching away to some distraction, you let conscience overwhelm you, you might begin to experience a quiet sorrow, a sense of helpless regret when you see something wrong about yourself.
The first thing your conscience might make you aware of is that you hated your dad or resented your mom. Whatever it is, were you to quietly bear the pain of seeing the truth, the shaming and redeeming regret would signal a capitulation to God and His right Way.
Just as Robin Hood submits to the one person he can respect, so your soul can submit to the wordless Truth. You see the Truth does not lie when it shows you your wrong.
And it, being true and honorable, stern and yet kind, is respectable.
It is positively good for your soul to honor the truth. And it is the beginning of salvation when your soul is willing to admit it is wrong in the Light of Truth.
It says in the Bible that God does not despise a contrite heart. Repentance is the first life giving emotion. It reconciles you to God Who sends His Light of Truth. And a most wonderful thing happens. Even amidst the tear, there is a quiet gladness. It is a sad glad. You are sad to see your wrong but glad that the Truth is there showing you. And when the brief pain is over, joy returns. The world will be sweeter. Not because I say so, but because that is the way it will be when the soul is touched by Truth and is receptive.