“If you don’t do what you know is right, you have sinned” (James 4:17)
So, I did what I thought I would never do. I purchased one of those robotic vacuum cleaners. You know, the ones, that move and scooch across your floors. And it’s great! It makes its’ way through the house from one room to another. Even vacuums around the edges of the rooms. Reid and I have named it Susie Q. Susie did have one little problem the other day. She made her way under the end table next to my chair in the great room. She had to enter through the bottom on the left side of the table, because the front and back openings are too small for her to get through. However, once in there Susie Q could not get out because my chair blocked her on the right side. So, the poor thing was stuck under the table. I could hear her banging around from one side to the other, trying to find a way out. If anyone had been watching, I don’t know what they would have found funnier – her banging around under the table, or me talking to her telling her which side she needed to come out. After a little maneuvering, Susie Q finally discovered that her only way out was to go back the way she had gone in.
We are all capable of finding ourselves gridlocked at times in life. We promise to do something, then don’t do it, and soon we feel like we’re being held captive in a prison of guilt. We say something we know we should not have said, but our pride keeps us from apologizing, and we sense the chains of shame tightening their grip on us. We become aware that God is leading us to do something, but we ignore him and soon remorse fills our minds. We find ourselves, like Susie Q, scooching through our daily existence, unable to find a way out of the tormenting emotions that hold us prisoner.
What do we do when this happens? There is only one way out of these situations, and it is the same way Susie Q escaped her prison under my end table. Go back the way we came! Jesus taught in Matthew 5 to not even offer our gifts to God on the altar until we go back and make things right with other people. How much more do we need to go back and make things right with God when we disobey him?
Going back means reentering the point where we became disobedient. Once there, we then need to do the right thing that we should have done in the fist place. Fulfill the promises we made. Apologize for what we said. Obey the promptings of God that we should have obeyed in the first place.
Susie Q made it out of her prison under my end table. She did it by going back the way she entered her dilemma. The same is true for us.