Back to – never far from – the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:
The son’s return, I suppose like any renewal, occurs in several stages. He had to leave, he take his journey into a far country. v. 13 Then he had to spend it all, and begin to be in want. v. 14 He had to hit bottom with the pigs, then come to himself, to have an awakening, an epiphany. v. 15-17 Still, there was more required, he had to arise and go to his father. v. 18
While all those steps, those stages, were necessary to the story, the last one is the most important, and perhaps the most difficult. Absent the physical acts of getting up and starting on the road back, this is just a sad story of a guy who lost it all and realizes he has screwed up.
It occurs to me that while all the parts are needed to make the story, those things, the getting up and starting, then continuing on the road back, are the important parts, and the important parts of any life story. The good news is that regardless of the story up to that point, the getting up and starting on the road back are always available.