The concept of two paths is a common image in the Hebrew Bible: the Israelites were often challenged to choose the greater path of life, righteousness, and trust in God over the lesser path of death, sinfulness, selfishness, and mistrust. (See Deuteronomy 30:15-20.)
In Psalm 1, these two paths are portrayed through a botanical metaphor: the righteous are like trees planted by streams of living water, but the wicked who choose not to follow God blow away like chaff in the wind.
In Lent, we find ourselves at the divergence of two paths as well. We have been offered Christ’s message of repentance: “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven draws near.” We now have the choice to heed these words, accept God’s forgiveness, and change anything about our lives that does not belong in Christ’s Kingdom. Or, we can continue living into the status quo.
Over the next few weeks, we will explore themes and disciplines that will help us grow more into those righteous trees, bearing good fruit as we rest beside streams of living water. If we accept this journey of repentance, we can rest in the assuredness that God has truly forgiven us. Although we are invited into a season that brings growth and reflection, it is also a time to rest and renew our souls. As the psalmist declared, may this Lent be a chance to recover happiness, delight in the Lord, and meditate on God’s words of hope.