Monday, July 15, 2013
Paid in Full
I did something this weekend I haven't done in four years. I rented a DVD.
For most people, renting a DVD is a weekly occurrence. In high school and college I was a frequent customer at the local video store. I remember a time when I could walk by most of the new releases and have a hard time finding one I hadn't seen.
When I went into the store on Friday, I couldn't find one I had.
What changed in the past four years? Twins. Parenting in general. We haven't had a lot of time to watch movies since the kiddos came along. And in the past year, I usually spend my free time writing.
But this weekend we had my four nieces over for a slumber party and they requested a movie night. So I found myself browsing the new releases...and then passing up all of them for some old favorites. They watched Honey I Shrunk the Kids for the first time!
But here's the interesting part. For the past four years, I had this niggling feeling every time I passed the video store. I knew I had a late fee--which bothered me. It wasn't a conscious thought, but it hung over me as a reminder that I had something due. An outstanding debt that needed to be met. I didn't know how much I owed, but I was pretty sure it was more than I'd care to admit. I was terrible at returning DVDs on time.
The video store is connected to our grocery store, but I never went in to pay the debt. I just thought I'd pay it the next time I rented a DVD...I never expected it to be four years.
So, with a little trepidation, I walked up to the counter and handed over the DVDs I wanted to rent. The clerk commented that I hadn't rented a movie in four years and then his eyebrows went up and he said: "Oh, it looks like you have a late fee."
I almost cringed. Here it was.
"It's a $1.19."
I blinked. A $1.19? I've been letting a $1.19 bug me for four years? I almost wanted to laugh. I paid my past due bill and walked out of the store with my rented movies.
The funny thing is, that little niggling feeling is gone. My debt has been paid in full. And now I don't have to think about it again.
But here's the thing that struck me. A larger debt has been paid on my behalf. A debt that only Christ can fulfill. When I accepted Him as my Savior, He canceled my debt of sin once and for all. The debt is paid.
And yet, I still allow niggling feelings of guilt or shame to hang over me for past mistakes. Just like walking by the video store and feeling weighed down, there are days I walk through my life feeling the weight of my sin. Condemnation, guilt, shame...you name it.
The amazing truth is that the awesome God I serve has pardoned my debt, wiped my slate clean, and told me to think on my sins no longer. I'm free. As far as He is concerned, the debt has been paid in full.
As I watched the movies that evening, snuggled up with my daughters and nieces, I could only smile.
What about you? When was the last time you rented a DVD? Do you pay your late fees right away, or let them linger? Do you still hold on to the past guilt of debts God has forgiven?