Grace


When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
Its a wonder
I can think at all
And though my lack of education
Hasn’t hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall

~Paul Simon

 

wall-with-cross.jpg

 

B~

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I know you may find that hard to believe but trust me, it’s true.  And it’s not the first time, nor will it be the last.  After a lot of thinking (thanks to Dan and others) I’ve decided that I was wrong about my Zen Dog post.  Not posting it mind you, but in the direction it took my thoughts.

I agree with Zen Dog in that we don’t know where we are going in life, it usually can’t be controlled by us.  As the commercial says, “Life comes at you fast.”  And unexpectedly.  And full of joy, pain, sorrow, laughter, and love.

“He knows not where he’s going.
For the ocean will decide-
It’s not the glory of the destination…
It’s the glory of THE RIDE”

I really didn’t see myself where I am at this stage in life, and it seems I’ve just been along for the ride.  I haven’t reached my destination so there is no glory in that, but I don’t think there is all that much “glory” in the ride either.  Our ride, our journey through life, IS our own and we each face it as best as we can.  But where is the “glory” in growing up in an abusive home, or with addictions, or in poverty, or even in having so much money that life is boring.  I stated in my post that “we only have control over our own ride” and not the ride of others.  While that may be true to some extent, we can control life in the same way we can hold back the tides of the ocean.

We worry about where we will wind up in eternity, the destination (or we worry about where everyone else will wind up); or we worry about THE RIDE and the storm up ahead, or the storm we are in, or the fact that everything is calm and when will the storm come up.  We are paddling with all of our strength just to keep a float and the truth of the matter is that a lot of us are tired, just plain tired.  We talked in our Bible study Sunday night that sometimes being an adult sucks.  So tell me again, where is the glory?

So if the “glory” isn’t in the destination, and if it isn’t in the ride, then where is it?  Well that’s the problem: we assume our glory is in one or the other.  But this is what John tells us in the New Testament:

“The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth…For we have all received grace after grace from His fullness.”

So there you have it.  The glory isn’t in the destination OR the ride, but in Jesus who gives glory to them both.  And  the grace to get us through the ride to our destination.

His peace on you.
B~

Danny Sims has been giving quotes from one of my favorite authors this week: C. S. Lewis.  Today he is quoting from Phillip Yancy’s book What’s So Amazing About Grace on Lewis’ opinion that God’s grace is what makes Christianity unique:

The notion of God’s love coming to us free of charge, no strings attached, seems to go against every instinct of humanity. The Buddhist eight-fold path, the Hindu doctrine of Karma, the Jewish covenant, and Muslim code of law—each of these offers a way to earn approval. Only Christianity dares to make God’s love unconditional.

Get this: we don’t have to do anything!  Nothing, nada, zilch.  And nothing can separate us from that love: NOTHING!  Why is that so hard to believe?  Because we are a society of achievement, everything we do is results and goal oriented.  We all find it difficult to believe that God will give us His love for nothing in return.  He just wants us to love Him back but that’s not a requirement for Him giving us His love.  If we could only free our minds from the chains and bondage of “doing” what an abundant life we could be living.  To be able to experience the freedom of just living in His love, allowing His grace to grow daily in us until in the end we finally become like Him, this is the gospel – the Good News.

What’s so amazing about grace?  It’s free.

B~