This Time Will Be Different


By Gary Albritton

I know there are times
Times you stop and take long looks inside
Times you are confronted by the ugliest inside
Times you fight to clean house 
and present a pristine front for all to see.
We know if we can just convince our mind we can change.
We can have a fresh start.
Try harder, run faster, keep going, 
this time will be different.

We can leave the addiction, 
evade the anger, 
break the grip of greed, 
leave lust behind
But here we are again, 
back at the starting blocks, 
making the same promises, 
but this time with more resolve, 
more willpower, more earnestness.
Like hamsters on a wheel,
we seem to be going no where fast.
Try harder, run faster, keep going, 
this time will be different.

We seek to systematize our sanctification.
We create sets of rules and regulations, 
hoops to jump through.
All well meaning but still insufficient 
We rely on our intellect, saying, 
God I want to understand you.
All the while our heartbeat 
has simply been to see His face, 
to know Him and fall head over heels in love with Him 
because He is beautiful.  
Try harder, run faster, keep going, 
this time will be different.

The rules and the knowledge are not bad,
But they will never change your heart,
but that was never their purpose in the first place.
They were only meant to shape your heart.
Try harder, run faster, keep going, 
this time will be different.


The lie of the garden still rumbles deep within our soul.  
God is holding out on us.
There is knowledge, 
there is goodness, 
there is blessing,
God is keeping from us.
To find it, we will have to look else where.
There! 
That tree, that road, 
that way, let’s try that one!
We try, only to encounter another dead in road, 
Yes! Death lies at the end of that road too.  
Surprised?
Absolutely!
Try harder, run faster, keep going, 
this time will be different.

We knew for sure this tree, 
this road, this way, would be different.
This tree would fulfill, 
this road would lead to something better,
this way would give me purpose.
Try harder, run faster, keep going, 
this time will be different.

He must be holding out!
Fight! 
Fight to work your self into His favor.
You can never be good enough, 
but you can get close.
Close enough that He can get you the rest of the way.  
That’s the message you got.
But it is an exercise in futility.
Try harder, run faster, keep going, 
this time will be different.

We quote and memorize the 23rd Psalm
We know it by heart but we never actually take it to heart
We never truly here the words
Surely, mercy and love will follow you 
all of the days of your life.
We needlessly assume it’s a gift 
that only accompanies death, 
but the problem is it was promised in life.  
This life, not just the one to come.
Try harder, run faster, keep going, 
this time will be different.

Mercy and love have not left you,
They are not out pacing you 
so that you must run faster to catch them. 
No, surely they are there,
following you, pursuing you, running after you,
they have never left your side.
You need no longer to give chase,
Stop running after them 
because they have been running after you the whole time.
Try harder, run faster, keep going, 
this time will be different, 
it is our battle cry!

Stop, turn and they will run into you.
You strive to be good enough but you never will, 
but then again that is why Jesus came.
He came not to make you morally perfect, 
but to look into the face of moral imperfection 
and say, Father forgive them!
He came to give you a new name, 
a new birth, a fresh start.
But still we cry, 
Try harder, run faster, keep going, 
this time will be different.

He came to save you from yourself.
From the lies you believe,
God is holding out on you,
God could never be pleased with you,
God needs you to get it right, 
so you can be right with Him.
Lies!  
All lies, straight from the pits of Hell.
The deceiver, the accuser, the Satan, 
has never stopped spouting these malicious accusations.
At first it was no big deal, 
but over time you started listening to them.
You are a liar, you are a thief, you are an adulterer.
And over time you started believing them,
It must be who you are!
As their shouts became louder 
it drowned out the whisper over your shoulder,
You are loved, you are a child of God and He is pleased with you.
Try harder, run faster, keep going, 
‘this time will be different.

You think you have to have it all together
You try to be what everyone else wants you to be.
Still you fall short. 
You see in the mirror every morning, a self, 
a you, that is scared and scarred, 
bruised and hurting, 
yet somehow still clinging to the hope 
that today might actually be different. 
Try harder, run faster, keep going, 
this time will be different.

You have convinced yourself 
that no would could truly love you as you are.
You see only insufficiency, inadequacy, imperfection.
You see garbage but I see the beautiful face of Jesus shining on you.
Calling you,
Loving you,
Never letting you go.
He is your light!
He is your salvation!
Whom shall you fear? 
Try harder, run faster, keep going, 
this time will be different.

Please hear me,
It is a mirage, an illusion, a fantasy, a lie
Stop listening to it, 
stop running after it, 
I promise, this time won’t be different!
Just more of the same.
Stop running and chasing after 
what has been right there the entire time.
Stopping assuming there is still so much to do 
to be worthy of God’s grace.
You belong,
You are loved,
You are a child of the King!
No need to try harder, to run faster, to keep going…
If you will stop running I can make you only one promise,
This time will be different!

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