Jeremiah 2:13: for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water.
I was reading last night and I kept coming back to this passage. I believe that there is something powerful in the idea that when we sin, there are actually two different sins. The first is turning from God. The second is turning to something else. It is not simply our denial of God that hurts; it is also our replacing God with something else, something futile that has no true, lasting power.
It also has hope in some strange way for me. It means that my life must consist of a constant effort to make two steps. The first is to set down those cracked cisterns, to stop trying to fill them when my efforts are futile. It is a lifelong effort. The second is to turn back to God. It is not one, fluid motion that I will complete. It is two steps, and they are intricately linked. I cannot take one without the other, and yet I cannot wait for one to be complete before I take up the other. It is a tug of war for the allegiance of my soul; I know who I want to win, I just have to want it bad enough to stop filling all these cracked cisterns and allow God to fill me completely.