Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live.
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I helped some friends round up cattle one day so they could confine them between gates and fencing to tag them. I found myself in the wrong place at the wrong time face to face with a bull that was not happy about being tagged. My friend saw the heap of trouble I was in but knew that she could not move fast enough to help me so she did what she could. She yelled at me. She yelled, "Don't let him hurt you!" In the nanosecond those words took to reach my ears which were attached to my frozen body, I processed the idea that I was not just a victim. I could do something about my situation and, if I did get hurt, it would be my fault for not doing something. I discovered a vertical leap personal best that I have not ever been able to duplicate. When the burdens of this life - both the ones laid on us and the ones we create ourselves - weigh heavily on us, death is all around. And so is God sometimes yelling at us to get a new heart and a new spirit and live because we can.
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God, help us to know that there are some things we can do to help ourselves live. Amen.