The other day I noticed that an update was available for my iPhone so I pushed the upload bar and nothing happened so I pushed it again. For two days, tried to download this update and finally it worked. When that finished, I pushed the install bar and again nothing. I researched the Internet to see if others were having the same difficulty however the answer was not obvious. I gave up on it for a while, then retried it only this time a link to check the remaining storage on my phone. My theory is that I did not have enough space on my phone to accommodate this large update. Making room would require that I had to delete a bunch of photos and old podcasts. Once I got rid of some extra baggage the new download installed just fine. I am by no means a “techy” person and trying to figure out issues involving my phone or computer makes my head spin however I am a very persistent person. Sometimes that persistence pays off!
Are you familiar with the movie called The Mission? It stars two well-known actors, Jeremy Irons and Robert De Niro. It is based on a true story, about an 18th -century Jesuit Priest named Father Gabriel, who traveled to the jungles of South American to convert the native people to Christianity. Eventually he built a relationship with them by living with them and learning their language and customs. During one of his trips back to the city, he met a man convicted of killing his own brother. This man, Rodrigo Mendoza, had served his time in prison but never recovered from the crimes he had committed. Father Gabriel suggested that he do something good with the rest of his life and invited Mendoza along for his return trip to the jungle to serve the indigenous people of South America. The convict agreed to join him with one condition; that he paid penance for all of the wrongs he had committed. As the priest watched, Mendoza took a large cargo net, filled it with his armor, helmet, sword and anything else from his destructive life and tied it together with a large rope around his body to drag it behind him. That was his way of doing penance.
The journey into the rain forest was dangerous. The group climbed treacherous rock walls and waterfalls that would stop most anyone other than a persistent priest and his entourage. The slave trader followed the priest with the cargo net in tow and struggled to keep up because it got stuck on everything. Finally, they reached the native people and when one of the tribal men saw how Mendoza struggled with the burdensome cargo he grabbed a knife, cut the rope and threw the bundle over the cliff. Shocked by the action, Mendoza wept greatly by the release of his burden. It was gone for good. Only then, was he free enough to rewrite his story. He was free to forgive himself and be forgiven. He was no longer the evil man he had been. Having been renewed, he committed himself to serve the priest, the people and eventually he came to realize that he served God too. He had off-loaded his burden (penance) so that he could make a new way for his life. Was he still the same person? Physically yes but his mind and heart changed. He no longer defined himself according to his past but changed to make room for a new future.
Letting go of the past has been a focus of mine for the past number of years. To help me moving forward, I have taped this scripture to my bathroom mirror as a reminder; “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, (Isa. 43:18-19). By deleting a bunch of unnecessary stuff from my phone made it possible to install new apps to make my life better - well that is the story I am going with anyway. When the past no longer defines who I am, it gives me the ability to see the road through the wilderness and drink from the streams God has provided for me. God is doing a new thing in me. Hmmm… What should I measure?...