For a Man Who Repents
Voyage of Life- Manhood by Thomas Cole
The first two paintings in the Thomas Cole voyage of life series are depicting childhood and youth. These paintings are bright and sunny full of spring green promise. But now, as we look at this third stage of life, things have changed drastically.
The mood of this painting is dark and turbulent. Our man is still in the same boat but it's heading for a dead tree at the crest of a waterfall drop off. He is no longer steering. If you look at him closely he stands in his boat praying. He sees what's ahead and there is nothing he can do. When a man can do nothing he may suddenly remember that with God all things are possible. And if he remembers this, then there will be hope.
As he prays in his boat (representing life) that is heading for a drop-off, we see above and behind him the very angel (representing God) that he left off at the shore in his youth. The angel is not close but he's there watching everything. Unknown to the man there is a parallel world where all is calm and all is bright. We see it through the mouth of the cave that he's in.
If you are that man or woman heading for a cliff it is not too late to pray. God has been waiting for your return but could not interfere with your free will. He stands waiting to hear your voice, waiting to be asked back into your life. And what should you say to a loving Father that you have neglected most of your life?
Well, you could say something like this:
"Heavenly Father, I am sorry I left you off at the shore years ago in my youth. I deserve all the trouble and darkness I am heading for. But you are a merciful God. You gave the world your only Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross so I could be ransomed and restored to you. I accept the forgiveness that Jesus accomplished on the cross for my sins. Will you come back into my boat and take over steering it again? I'm ready to submit to your Lordship and will obey what you show or tell me to do."
The words are not as important as the attitude of your heart. If you prayed, then all of Heaven is rejoicing with you right now.
"I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety and nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." Luke 15:7