As Australians wake up this morning, they have a new government. But not just a new party in power, but a new way of doing government. Change can be a very hard thing for some. Like the process of dying. We cannot accept the reality and instead create in our heads reasons for this false reality. When Donald Trump lost the November 2020 election, he created a storyline of a “rigged election”. It is hard for our ego to let go of how things were or how things should be. We ignore facts and prefer the way we think.
Yet at the beginning of the first Gospel the first words are “the time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God has come near, repent, and believe in the good news” (Mark 1:14). We have translated the original Greek word “metanoia” to the religious term “repent”. But rather it is closer to the term “change your mind”.
But how do we “change our minds” when our ego and thought process prefers the old way of doing things?
Look at what Jesus does before he begins his new ministry; he goes into the desert or wilderness (Mark 1:12). He begins to question his reality. The stopping. The letting go. The time away from business as usual enables Jesus to begin his new ministry. In the spaces of not doing we begin to question our own realities. We begin to gain a new perspective.
So the new election can be like a funeral where some parts of us have to die to our old self. Like a snake shedding its skin. This dying to self enables a new reality to emerge.
The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God has come near, change your mind, and believe in the good news. But sometimes when we need to grow and change beyond where we are or what we believe, we first need to go into our desert. There in the desert something amazing can happen, we can change.