The End Of Innocence
By Ed Wrather
Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. - Psalm 19:12-13.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:23.
At the age of three or four I had one of the first encounters that I remember with unpleasant consequences from my actions. My cousin and I were playing in my sister’s closet where on a chest of drawers was an old ceramic piggybank. The bank had belonged to one of our ancestors and I had been warned about climbing on the chest because of the danger of breaking the bank. But my cousin and I were playing when in the midst of our play the piggybank fell and broke into many pieces. Of course I felt bad about it and apparently my parents were even more upset. Never again would my play be quite as innocent as it had been before the piggybank broke.
In the 1980’s Don Henley sang a song called “the end of the innocence.” Here are some of the words, “Remember when the days were long and the road beneath the deep blue sky didn’t have a care in the world, with mommy and daddy standing by. When happily ever after fails and we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales, when lawyers dwell on small details, says daddy had to fly. Oh we’ll find a place where we can go still untouched by men, and sit and watch the clouds roll by and the tall grass raise in the wind. You can lay your head back on the ground, and let your hair fall around you, offer up your defense, this is the end of the innocence.”
David asks the question, “Who can discern his errors?” Who can understand or even know all the ways that we have failed? There comes a point in every person’s life when we know that we have failed. As the apostle Paul says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Most of us realize there may even be ways in which we have failed that we are not even aware of. The age of innocence has passed - it is over. The burden of failure has fallen upon us.
Is there any hope of relief from this burden of failure and loss of innocence? Yes! “Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool (Isaiah 1:18).” And the apostle Paul tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).” And the apostle John writes, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).” The burden of our failures can be washed away and a renewed age of innocence can begin in the sight of God.