Today's first reading reminds me of a very dark period in my life. I was on a course of self-destruction. God was the furthest thing from my mind. I was about to lose my wife, my children and everything that I had built as a family. My father had died just years earlier and I was hell-bent, as they say, to ruin all I had worked for.
One day, a dear friend of mine, who to this day I feel God sent to me, took me out to eat at a BBQ restaurant. We were discussing my screwed up life and he presented to me an analogy that I will never forget. Much like today's first reading, he began by pointing at my now dirty plate of food I had left behind. He said, "You see that plate in front of you? Those are your sins, and when they wash that plate after your done, it will be cleaned as new." "That's how God forgives our sins" he continued. "He allows us to start over and he doesn't care about the sins that are washed away as long as you go to Him and stop sinning".
That was my "aha!" moment as Oprah would say. It opened my eyes to a much larger picture of life. Even though I had heard this reading in church many times it had never hit home until that day at the restaurant. I am forever grateful to my friend for that day. Since that time, I have lived a more humble life, not that it has not been free of mistakes, but I go to that day as a reminder that I can start new each and every morning when I go to God for prayer and guidance.
Meditation: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20 (http://wau.org/meditations/2012/07/24)
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