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180: Time for a Turnaround

We are starting the New Year with a two-week series called “180: Time for a Turnaround.”  There’s just something about the beginning of a year where we think in those terms of: “What needs to change?” and “How should we be living different in 2021 than we did in 2020?”  And so we’re just exploring this idea, which is a theme of Scripture, that there are areas of our life that need to go in a different direction.  There are some ways, some relationships, some habits, some decisions that need to be turned around.

I think one of the most difficult parts of turning around is acknowledging that the way you’ve been going isn’t the right way.  It makes it hard.  To turn around you have to admit that you’ve been going the wrong direction so that you can turn around and go the right direction.  And this is particularly hard for some people.  Now for a lot of us guys, when we are driving somewhere and we get a little bit lost, it’s hard to have to admit we don’t know where we’re going.  And to have to pull over and ask someone for directions, as my wife might suggest I do … I mean, the prospects of that sound so humiliating.  For most of us guys, we would rather drive 50 miles out of the way than to have to admit we might not know where we are or where we’re going.  We know we should probably turn around and go a different direction, and we want to turn around, but our pride gets in the way and gets us deeper into trouble.

And that’s what a lot of us want, right?  Like, we want to turn around.  We want to make changes, but we want to save face.  We want to do some things differently, but we don’t want to humble ourselves.  We want to maybe go a different road without having to say the road we’ve been on isn’t the right one.  But what did we say last week?  That the exit ramp for a turnaround is named repentance.  That’s how you turn around.  You repent.  You say, “I’ve been going the wrong way here.”  You humble yourself and say, “I’ve gotten myself in a difficult situation here.  I need to…I need to go a different path.”  But our pride makes it hard.  In our pride we get caught up in what other people think.  We don’t want to admit that maybe the road we’ve been on isn’t the right road, so we just…we just keep driving.  We just keep driving.  And so in this series we’re acknowledging that there are some areas of our life—and it’s true for everyone in here—that need to be addressed.  There are some turnarounds that need to be made.  And we want it.  We want it, but it requires repentance.

Another reason why making a turnaround is pretty difficult is that the way we’ve been going feels right.  It feels natural.  If it didn’t feel right, we wouldn’t be going this direction.  But the Bible says, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12).  You’re on a path and it might feel right.  You might look around and the path is popular.  The Bible calls it “a wide road.”  A lot of people find it and a lot of people take it.  You’re in good company on the path you’re on.  It feels right, and because it feels right it’s unnatural…it feels unnatural to go a different direction—a different direction than other people are going, a different direction than maybe you’ve been going.

If you’ve been a workaholic and you know God is calling you to turn some things around and get some priorities in line in your life, then look, it’s going to feel unnatural when you decide you’re going to go home at five o’clock and you’re not going to get your work back out after the kids go to bed.

If you’ve been giving into lust…  Like, you think everybody kind of thinks this way, looks at these things and feeds their mind on these things.  That’s just the way you’ve been doing things.  That feels natural to you.  That just feels natural.  And so, you start starving those desires, and after a few days it’s not going to feel natural.  It’s going to feel uncomfortable, because you’ve gotten used to things a certain way.

If you deal with your stress by getting angry and venting and yelling, then look, it’s going to feel unnatural when you turn it around; and you go to the bedroom and you pray and you ask God for wisdom and you ask God for patience.  You’re not going to feel like doing that.  It’s going to feel unnatural.

If you’re used to sleeping in on Sunday morning—all right?—then this feels unnatural.  Like, you had to make yourself do it.  At first when you turn it around and you start a new road, it just doesn’t feel natural.

If you’re used to responding to people who have hurt you with retribution, with revenge, then when you start praying for them and you ask God to help you forgive them, that doesn’t feel natural.  It doesn’t feel natural at all.

 If you deal with your failures in the past by lying and keeping secrets and being deceptive, if you deal with your failures by denial, then it’s going to feel really unnatural to say, “I’m sorry,” or, “I was wrong.”  Like, can I just ask you?  When is the last time you said that?  If you haven’t said, “I’m sorry,” for a while then it’s going to feel unnatural.  You start humbling yourself and doing it.  You might even want to warn some of the people in your life that it’s coming, because they’re not going to know what to do.  You might just say to them, “Hey, I want to give you guys a heads-up.  I’m about ready to do something.  I’m going to apologize.”  And you let them know it’s coming so it won’t be too disturbing for them, because they haven’t heard it and you haven’t said it.  And it just…it’s a different road, right?

And so, the Bible calls us to live a turnaround life, to live a life where we pay attention to some things that need to be aligned and some things we need to do differently.  And if you’re a follower of Jesus, this is all the time.  This is continual.  The word for this…the theological word for this is sanctification.  It’s the process of becoming more and more like Jesus, of aligning your life with Jesus.  And what’s true for everyone in this room, whether you’ve not been to church since you were little or you’ve not missed a Sunday in years, is that we’re all on this…we’re all on this path.  We’re all in the process of being sanctified, of being made more like Christ.

The Bible talks about this in Philippians 1:6.  Paul says, “And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you…  He’s the One who started the work in you.  “…[that he] will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus comes back again” (NLT).  

He’s going to continue it.  It doesn’t stop.  We don’t arrive.  I haven’t arrived.  I haven’t made it.  Like, I could tell you of how time and time again—even in the last month—of exit ramps I’ve had to take, of times I’ve needed to repent, where I’ve gone my own way, where I haven’t lived a “because you say so life” like we talked about last week.  And what Paul says is like: “Yeah, that’s all the time.  We are constantly in the process of becoming more like Jesus, and that process does not end until the day that Jesus returns.”

He’s going to continue it.  It doesn’t stop.  We don’t arrive.  I haven’t arrived.  I haven’t made it.  Like, I could tell you of how time and time again—even in the last month—of exit ramps I’ve had to take, of times I’ve needed to repent, where I’ve gone my own way, where I haven’t lived a “because you say so life” like we talked about last week.  And what Paul says is like: “Yeah, that’s all the time.  We are constantly in the process of becoming more like Jesus, and that process does not end until the day that Jesus returns.”

 Now there’s another theological word we use, and the word is justification.  So justification deals with our position in Christ, right?  This means that because of Jesus our sins are forgiven and we stand before God, the Bible says, “without blemish or defect.”  That’s who we are.  It is our identity in Jesus.  We are justified.  We’re made right.  So justification is who God has made us to be in Jesus.  Sanctification, then, is becoming who we already are.  It’s the process of becoming who God has already declared us to be in Christ.  And so that’s what it means to turn around and be on a new path.  You’re on a new path that looks more like the path that Jesus has set for us.

Now there’s another theological word we use, and the word is justification.  So justification deals with our position in Christ, right?  This means that because of Jesus our sins are forgiven and we stand before God, the Bible says, “without blemish or defect.”  That’s who we are.  It is our identity in Jesus.  We are justified.  We’re made right.  So justification is who God has made us to be in Jesus.  Sanctification, then, is becoming who we already are.  It’s the process of becoming who God has already declared us to be in Christ.  And so that’s what it means to turn around and be on a new path.  You’re on a new path that looks more like the path that Jesus has set for us.

So the Bible talks about this process of sanctification in Ephesians 4, verse 22.  Paul writes to the Christians and he says, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life…”  Do you remember that way of life—the way you used to do things, the road you used to be on, the path you used to take, the road you were on and you thought this was the road to happiness?  You thought this was the road that will make you happy.  Paul says, “Look, in regards to that old way of life (the way you used to do things), you put off your old self because it’s being corrupted by its deceitful desires.”  And then he says, “And be made new in the attitude of your minds, and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (vv. 22-24).

So here’s the image that Paul gives us for sanctification.  That it’s taking off old and putting on new.  You don’t put on new clothes over old clothes.  You don’t put on clean clothes over dirty clothes.  You take off the old and you put on the new.  So spiritually speaking, you don’t just…you don’t just keep driving the same direction and try to make some changes.  No, you turn around.  You take off the old and you put on the new.  And some of you are trying to follow Jesus by putting the new over the old and the smell just…I mean, it’s still coming through, right?  It’s not how it is meant to work.  You repent of the old life.  You turn around.  You embrace the new life.  And how does Paul say that we do this?  It’s in Ephesians 4.  We just read it.  It says, “…be made new in the attitude of your minds” (v. 23).  That’s the path that leads us from the old life to the new life: “Made new in the attitude of your minds.”

So as we begin this year and as we talk about this new path, I want to give us just some steps to prepare us for the road, right?  This road that God has put us on, a new path.

And so, step number one would be: To think progress, not perfection.

And this is, for some of you, not such a big deal.  For others of you—and you know who you are, and if you don’t know who you are, the person next to you does—this is a big deal.  Because you like…you like everything to be…you like everything to be perfect.  And when things aren’t perfect then you feel like, “What’s the point in even trying?”  And so when we begin a new year, you might make a resolution and say things like, “You know, never again…never again will I do this or say this or talk this way.  Never again will I give in to this habit or…  Never again.  I’m done.”  But then what happens?  Well, you do okay for a while and then you struggle.  You’re like, “Well, now I’ve blown it, so what’s the point?  I’ve blown it.  So maybe next year we’ll try it again, but this year it’s shot.”  It’s like how some people are with their diets.  They want to watch what they eat, but at lunch they…you know, in a weak moment they order the cheese fries appetizers.  And then at dinner they’re like, “Well, I mean, I already had cheese fries.  I might as well just eat whatever I want for dinner, because I’ve already blown it for lunch.”  

And that’s the way a lot of us are with our turnarounds.  We feel like, “If we can’t do it perfectly then what’s the point in doing it at all?”  And yet what does Paul teach us?  He teaches us that it is progress; it’s not perfection.  He says in Philippians 3:12, “Not that I have already obtained all of this, not that I’ve already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”  I’m not there yet.  I’m still struggling.  Some days aren’t my best days.  But I press on.

And so the challenge, then, is this: You claim victory one day at a time, and you do it in the name of Jesus.

My youth pastor in high school…he taught us this little three-word saying that goes like this.  It’s very simply: “Not today, Satan.  Not today, Satan.”  And there is this reality that I can’t change yesterday, and I can’t worry about tomorrow; and so for today…today I’m going to stay on this path.  So that means you begin the day and you say, “Lord, for today would You help me…?  Would You help me be patient?  Today, God, would You give me the strength to have the self-control that I know You want me to have?  Today, God, would You let me be a person of peace?”  It’s daily, right?  It’s: “Take up your cross daily and follow Me,” Jesus says.  We are taught to pray, “Give us our daily bread.”  It’s a daily dependence on God’s power and provision. Think progress not perfection

Secondly, on this path to prepare us for the new road, think future, not past.

Philippians 3:13 and 14 says, “…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  

Listen.  For some of you, you make a decision that you’re going to turn some things around and you’re going to do something differently, but the past has you chained.  And you just don’t get very far down the road before you’re kind of whipped back by the reality of the road you’ve been on.  And when you’re focusing on where you’ve been rather than where you’re going, it’s hard to make much progress.

Maybe it’s because of something you did.  And so it’s getting past the divorce, or it’s getting past that night you wish you could have back.  It’s getting past the relapse.  It’s getting past the guilt over what you said and how you said it and words that you can’t take back.  It’s getting past those things.  Well, how do we do that?  Well, the Bible says that we do that by the grace of Jesus, by understanding what He’s done for us: That He paid our bill, right?  Romans 8 says, “There’s no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (v. 1).  And so we strain towards what is ahead.  We leave the past behind us.

And maybe it’s not what you did; maybe it’s something that’s been done to you.  And you just can’t make it very far down the road because you’re constantly brought back to the pain of what was done to you.  And you feel like, “I can’t really move forward with my life until this gets dealt with because they owe me something.”  There was abuse and they owe you your innocence.  And if they can somehow pay that bill, if they can somehow make that right, then you’ll be able to keep moving.  But they can’t.  There’s nothing they can say or do to make up for what they did to you.  You say, “Well, they owe me a marriage.  All these years of my life…  I’ve given everything I have to it, and they owe me a marriage.”  “They owe me a childhood.”  “They owe me an explanation.”  “They owe me money—like, money.  They owe me.  Just pay me back so I can move forward.”  And we are constantly brought back by the pain of what we’ve done or what someone else has done to us.

And so God’s grace frees us from that, but it’s a struggle.  And for some of you, you’ve got to fight for this.  And it’s time to stop feeling sorry for yourself, and it’s time to stop being a victim, to understand that God has given you the grace to move ahead.  God has given you the strength to move ahead.  God has given you victory.  So start walking in it.  Stop letting other people, whether it’s yourself or those around you, determine where things are going to go this year, and let God’s grace move you ahead.  Paul says, “I strain.”  It’s not easy for him.  He had a lot of regrets.  But he strains towards the future.  He is focused on where he’s going, not where he’s been.

Thirdly, and for me personally this has really been helpful, really significant for me: It is to learn to think in terms of connection, rather than production.

Jesus uses a metaphor to help with this in John 15, verse 5.  He says, “I am the vine….”  He’s talking to His disciples.  “…[and] you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; [but] apart from me he can do nothing.”

Okay, so Jesus uses this metaphor where He says, “I’m the vine.”  A vine is like a…think of like a tree trunk that comes up to about waist high.  And He says, “You, if you’re a follower of Me, you’re the branch.  And if you stay connected to Me, then you’ll bear this fruit in your life.  These turnarounds that you’re trying to make…  You’re trying to be more patient and kind and gentle and self-controlled.  These turnarounds you’re trying to make…you’ll make those when you stay connected to Me.”  So it’s connection (“I stay connected.”), and then it’s production.  

But here’s what I somehow picked up growing up, okay?  That it’s production and then connection.  That if I do enough good and I produce enough fruit, if I turn my life around enough, then Jesus says, “Come on,” and He allows me to connect to Him.  I’ve got to produce in order to connect.  Jesus says, “No, no, no, no.  You connect; you produce.”

So to use our imagery here, the way that a lot of us think of it is: “Hey, I’m going to take this exit ramp and I’m going to turn around, and once I turn around I’ll invite Jesus to get into the car with me.  We’ll blaze this new trail.”  And Jesus says, “Oh, no, no.  That’s…that’s not how this gets done.  Here’s how it gets done.  Before you take the exit ramp…like, right now where you are, before you’ve turned things around…before you take the exit ramp I get in the car.  And by the way, I’m driving.  You can ride shotgun.  I get the steering wheel.”  And you put Jesus in the car, and He takes the exit ramp.  He helps you turn things around.  It’s connection then it’s production.

And this is a struggle for a lot of us who grew up in churches, because some of you have been taught that the only way God will have anything to do with you is if you get your life together first.  That is not the Gospel.  The Gospel is: You can’t get your life together, but He can.  The Gospel is: “I give up trying to fix it, so I surrender.  I surrender it to You, Jesus.”  And I talk to people who will say it.  They’ll say, “Look, I know I haven’t been to church for a while, but I’m really struggling with this area of my life.”  “I’m dealing with this addiction,” or, “I’ve got this relationship that’s messed up.  And when I get this aligned, when I turn around some things over here, then…then you’ll see me again.  I’ve just got to get some stuff together.  When I get my stuff together, I’m in.”  Look, Jesus wants to help you get your stuff together, right?  It’s connection and then it’s production.  And so you focus on your relationship with Jesus rather than on the self-help stuff that doesn’t help.  “I’m going to…I’m somehow going to make myself kinder, gentler, more self-controlled.”  No, you focus on Jesus, and you let Him produce that in your life.

So, if we could use an example, okay?  Imagine…imagine that it’s errand day for you.  You’ve got some errands you’ve got to run.  You need to get some food, so you write down, “Grocery store.”  And you need to get a broom—I don’t know—so you write down, “Hardware store.”  And you need to get your oil changed, so you write down, “Oil change store.”  And you need to get scented candles, so you write down whatever that store is that has scented candles.  You need to get an HDMI cord, so you write down, “Best Buy.”  Or you need to get a present for your nephew, so you write down, “Toy store.”  And it’s just…I mean, you’re just going to be running around all day.  You’ve got all these places to go and all these things that you’ve got to pick up.  And you get done with the day, and you didn’t get it done.  And you’re exhausted and you’re tired, because you’ve been running all over the place.  But, I mean, you could’ve done this a lot differently.  You could’ve just written down, “Wal-Mart,” right?  You could’ve made this a lot easier on yourself. You could’ve just gone to Wal-Mart and gotten everything you need and had your oil changed while you were getting it.  You could’ve done it that way.  

So what a lot of us do—and I see especially this time of year—is we think in terms of, “Man, I need to…I need to pick up some patience, so I’m going to really work at that.  And I need to swing by and get some self-control.  And I need some joy in my life.  I want to be…I want to be more positive and I don’t want to be so negative.  I want to be more encouraging and I don’t want to be critical.  I’ve got all these changes I need to make.”  And it just becomes this list that’s exhausting, and ultimately, you know, we don’t get it done.  And so what Jesus would say is: It’s all about Him.  That we focus on Him.

Now, don’t text me later or send me a nasty email, saying, “Um, did you really compare Jesus to Wal-Mart?”  In know, I know.  It breaks down at some point.  But you understand the idea, right?  Like, we make it…we make it a lot harder than it has to be.  Because we…in our Western culture…we think, “Man, we’ve got to do it ourselves.  We’ve got to make it happen ourselves.”

So continuing with this same idea would be: To think training, not trying.

That training is the process by which we connect to the vine.  It’s not trying.  You see, for a lot of you, you grew up in church and you were taught, “You’ve just got to try harder.”  You came back each week and the message seemed to be: “Ah, good try.  Maybe next week.  Maybe next week.”  And you walk out feeling like a failure.  

So here’s how Paul describes the process of connecting and sanctification.  He says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way, [then], as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the games goes into…”  What?  Strict training.  “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.  They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).

So Paul uses, basically, something like our Olympic games as a way to say, “This is how you do it.  You train for it.  It’s not about trying hard.”  My favorite Olympics to watch are the Winter Olympics.  And if you’re planning on being in the 2022 Winter Olympics…if you’re planning on doing that…you need to know it’s not going to be easy.  But today is the day you decide.  And you’re like, “You know what?  I’m going for it.  I’m going to go be in the next Winter Olympics.  Figure skating…  I don’t know how to do it, but no one is going to be more committed than I am.  I’m going to go out there.  I’m going to give it my best.  I’m going to leave it all on the field.”  Or whatever they call the rink.  “I’m going to leave it all out there.  I’m going to try.  I’m going to try really, really, really hard.”  What?  That doesn’t matter, right?  Now it would probably be more fun to watch.  I actually think there might be…if we treated the Olympics more like American Idol tryouts, where people who’ve never done it…like, you just put them in a bobsled and push them off…where they’ve never done it before.  I would watch that!  “And I’ve never figure skated before, but put some music on; I’m going for this.”  It just wouldn’t work.  Why?  Because it’s not a matter of effort.  It’s not a matter of trying harder.  It’s a matter of strict training.

I was reading this article about the training regimen for a speed skater.  And the article said they train like seven or eight hours a day.  They consume like four to five thousand calories a day.  For, you know, day-in/day-out, year-in/year-out, they’re training for it.

 And so spiritually this is consistent.  That we connect as a branch to the vine through what are sometimes referred to as spiritual disciplines.  That our part in the sanctification process is to put ourselves in a position to connect to Jesus.  The way we do that is training.  The way we train is through prayer; it’s through Scripture reading; it’s through being together with other Christians; it’s through Christian relationships with friends that can encourage us and keep us on the right path.  As we practice that, as we train in those ways, then things start to change.  So that I know I need to be more patient.  Instead of trying harder to be patient, I’m going to train for it.  And I’m going to train for it by…when I fall asleep at night, I’m going to read some Scripture.  I’m going to listen to some worship music on my way home from work so that I have more of a well to draw from.  I’m going to pray in the morning and ask God.  I’ll say, “God, I blew it yesterday.  I was short-tempered.  God, my attitude wasn’t right.  My tone was harsh.  But today, God, with Your help I’m going to be patient and I’m going to be gracious.”  And so I pray my way through it.  It’s training instead of trying.

Well, there’s one last step for us…one last challenge…and it’s: To think God’s power, not willpower.

It’s not self-help; it’s God’s help.  It’s a huge shift for us.  It’s a tough one.  We want to walk out of here with a list of things I need to do, and we’ve been talking about the way we need to think.  Paul says in Ephesians 1:20…he speaks of this power.  From The Living Bible it says, “…how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him.  …[It’s the] same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead….” (vv. 19-20 TLB). 

And then Peter says in 2 Peter 1:3 that “[God’s] divine power has given us everything we need to live a godly life….”  That it’s not from within.  It’s not that I’ve drummed up the determination.  It’s God giving me everything I need through His Son.

It’s really interesting.  If we go back to this kind of anchor verse that we used early on…  If you remember it’s Ephesians 4:23.  This is where Paul says, “You know, you move from the old to the new, and here’s how you do it: By being made new in the attitude of your minds.”

So this verb translated as be made new…it’s a real interesting verb in the Greek, because it’s first in the present tense, meaning that it’s an ongoing process.  You’re not just made new once; you’re continually being made new.  The second thing that’s interesting about this verb is it’s in the imperative mode, meaning that this is a command.  That if you’re a follower of Jesus this idea of following Jesus while you leave on the old and while you don’t put on the new…ah, it’s not an option.  It’s not like you get to say, “I’m going to be a follower of Jesus, but I’m going to pick and choose what I want to do.  I’m going to pick and choose how I want to live.  I’m going to pick and choose what I want to obey.”  No, that’s not how it works.  It’s: You take off the old; you put on the new.  That you’re being made new is a command.  But then it’s also in the passive voice, meaning that this is something done to you.  Does that make sense?   So we don’t make ourselves new.  We put ourselves in a position to be made new.

In the Old Testament there are a number of cool names for God: Jehovah-Jireh (“the God who provides”) and Jehovah-Shalom (“the God who gives me peace”).  In Leviticus 20 he’s Jehovah-M’Kiddish, meaning “the God who sanctifies me.”  The God who changes me, the God who turns me around, the God who gives me a different path, the God who keeps me going, the God who takes off the old and the God who puts on the new and then does it again tomorrow—the God who sanctifies me.

And I wonder if for some of you it’s time for a turnaround.  As I’ve talked to people over the years about this idea, this theme from the Bible, I’ve noticed kind of a theme just in the stories that I’ve heard.  The theme was: “Hey, I like the idea.  Yeah, and honestly it would’ve been helpful, like, three/five/ten years ago.  I would love to have heard this when I was in high school.  I’d love to have done this when I was in college.  When we were first married, I wish I would’ve turned things around, but that was then and this is now.  And I flew by that exit ramp and I don’t…I mean, what do I do now?”  And there’s just this tone of: “I like it, but it’s too late for me.  It’s too late for a turnaround.”  

And so you’re in this marriage and it feels stuck, and it’s not what you want.  But the bitterness has built up and the trust has been broken, and you don’t know what to do now.  So, you know, you just keep driving.  Or you’re in this relationship, and you know the girl that you’re dating or the boy that you’re dating…it’s not…it’s not what God wants for you.  It’s not who God wants you to marry.  But you’ve been dating them for a while and you’ve invested so much into them.  You’re afraid of taking an exit ramp.  And you see the signs.  Like, the signs say, “Dead end.”  Right?  “Wrong way.”  You see the signs.  But you’re scared of being alone, so you just keep driving.  And it would’ve been…it would’ve been great if you would’ve seen this earlier and asked for forgiveness earlier.  But now…I mean, it’s been a long time.  It feels like it’s too late to ask for forgiveness, so you just keep driving.  It feels like it’s too late to make a change.  I mean, you’ve already paid such a high price for where you’re at and other people around you…nobody is going to believe you anyway.  And so there’s part of you that says, “It’s just too late for a turnaround.”  

But listen.  Some of you are here because God needed to say this to you.  The good news of the Gospel is: It’s never too late for a turnaround.  I don’t know where you’re at and I don’t know what road you’ve been on.  But I know that because of Jesus there’s an exit ramp.  There’s an exit ramp for you right here, right now, before you leave today.