August 05, 2006


To use a tired metaphor, do you ever feel like you dropped your ice cream cone in manure? It doesn’t do a dang thing to the manure, but it sure ruins the heck out of the ice cream. It could be argued that one of the goals upon getting an ice cream cone is to do your best to keep it out of the manure, eat and enjoy.

I was actually asked why I don’t ‘plan something spontaneous’ in my schedule the other day? Now I find this humorous, and I hope you do too. But after I laughed, I saw that it wasn’t funny any more. My desire to have my own time made the hole in my spiritual doughnut all that more evident. There had been great and wondrous works to construct this doughnut. But the fact that it appeared to have a hole in it was my own doing. I chalked it up to ‘trying not to get lost in the things going on around me’, but it was (and is) selfish pride.

My high school’s 20 year reunion is in two weeks, and I’m only now trying to work through the demands my Father requests of me. Kid stuff, right? I will walk through some for of structure discipline, or in other words, ‘I will follow some laws to make good with You.’ But this grace thing…does it come with a checklist?

It is easy to deny grace from your Father when you expect purely to earn your lot in life. Or better yet, to work off the consequences of your past…or all that time you feel in some way had been wasted away by no one’s choice but your own. Discipline alone, and its many euphemisms, will only get you a nice looking doughnut with a hole in it.

So rather than ‘trampling on grace’ with some sort of ‘easy believe-ism’ I choose to walk softly and earn my due through tasks assigned by others. I wouldn’t want to wake up my Father. He’d certainly let me know in no uncertain terms what I had done wrong. And that, as I recall, is a drag.

I could read, and through this I found that I could know what ideas I needed to cultivate, what tasks I should engage in…but I still wanted what was mine, even if it had been whittled down and given away in pieces. Pride is a bit sneakier than I had last recollected.

The big picture is easy to stock your faith in, especially when you’re hungry. And the larger details have fruit as you enter into them. But when you realize He wants you. He doesn’t need you, but He wants you. And that is all of you, doughnut and hole, for His will not yours. Well this moves from a good idea, from ready to believe, from ‘it sounded good when I read about it’ toward placing your newly developed faith and trust out there to be tested.

The funny part is that I’ve always preferred buttermilk bars. I look forward to the coming season.


brett said...

I cannot tell you how much some of this resonates within me. I woke up this morning and, through a process of thoughts, came to the conviction that I do not (cannot?) submit to authority.
I am actually afraid to let myself rest in the grace of God. I think I am afraid that I will lose control.

Steve S. said...

Authority is the issue of this age. Why do you think there are so many versions of truth out there floating around? It sure isn't because everyone at heart loves to discuss epistemology, it is a deep seated rebellion that drives us all to seek new ways to do the same thing, listen to the old promise that we can 'be like God.' (Genesis 3:5)