Monday, July 29, 2013

Know what can make you miserable?

Know what can make you miserable.  Hands down?
Trying to win someone's approval.  A feeling of not measuring up.
Coming from them.  Coming from you.

And on the day it crashes.  For you.
The ungrace - like shards of glass, broken sharp edges, around your feet.
Crazy scary. Unsettling.
Much to clean up.  Carefully.

Because what happens.
Blaming and criticizing and ruminating - and it's in your head.
And it's all about you.

Not measuring up.  Not meeting the standard.  Failing.

Surely, in the Christian world, not an issue.
For the whole concept of faith is wrapped up in grace.

But do we get it?
The awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping incredible gift.


And even for the humanists.
Those embracing man as the answer to life.
Doesn't life come crashing down?  A seeking.  There must be more.

Why don't we get it?

A chasing.  A running after. To fill the empty. 
The search for significance.
This lust - so pervasive in post-modern culture.
In the cinema, in the music, in the glossy covers.
Even our homes, our schools, our churches.
Culture everywhere. Striving.

And in the striving, the twisting of our lives into a charade.
The wearing of masks eventually.
Too painful, the real.  For failing to meet the standard.
For just plain failing.  Even in our own minds.
Falling short.  Again and again.
And then failure even to try.

Nothing more unattractive or painful.
The judgment, the guilt, the shame.  Falling victim.
To perfectionism and striving.
Desperately trying to make a life count for something.

George MacDonald put it succinctly.

You need not be a Christian to build houses, feed the hungry, or heal the sick. 
There is only one thing the world cannot do. 

It cannot offer grace.

What the world needs.
Almost defying description.
So good the Gift.

And in accepting the Gift.
Something happens.

In place of the striving, the chasing after the wind.

In it's place.
A quiet strength with humility.
A joy from forgiveness.
A life of purpose; understanding intrinsic worth.

Restored relationship with God.
With ourselves.
Nothing to prove.  Only to accept.  

And the ungrace.
When it comes calling.
Something to discard, to run from; a destroyer.

Because no matter who you are or what you believe.
If extended Grace, you are grateful.

A powerful gift.
The only thing the world cannot offer.


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