Posted by: Robin | February 7, 2009

Grace

I have been meditating on grace this morning. Though for me the concept of grace is rooted in Jesus Christ, it is the human variety that preoccupies me. A number of things lately have caused me to reflect on some of the choices I have made in my life as well as the choices my parents made, the ones that had consequences far beyond what was intended and proved the first falling domino choice that resulted in other choices that have carried the heartache or failure into the present day. I can think rationally enough to look back and see that most of the time I made the best choice I could based on what I knew at the time and usually made it with the best intentions. A few I made because I was at the breaking point, and I was desperate. A few were selfish and unconsidered, plain and simple. Unfortunately I am the type that beats myself with a cudgel for causing heartache and for not knowing better. I can pray for God’s grace and forgiveness, but I have enormous trouble giving it to myself. That is the human variety of which I speak.

I have known for a while that this is arrogance. I have known for a while it makes it harder to forgive others. I have known for a while that it wreaks havoc and hurts those closest to me. So why is it so hard to accept that I “hold these treasures in jars of clay” (II Corinthians 4:7)? Maybe with years wisdom does come. For the first time this morning I considered the countless other choices that don’t stick to me like burrs and bring balance to the choices that led to hurtful places I never intended to go (let alone take hostages with me)–the times I reaped but did not sow; the times I sowed but did not reap (even when I felt I should have); the times I sowed good choices and reaped bountifully; and maybe most importantly, the times I sowed choices that should have yielded a field of brambles and didn’t.

I need grace. I need to understand that our lives are so integrally tied to those of others that the best of our choices are not isolated with clear cause-effect outcomes. I need to understand that my vision is limited. I need to know I am human, and I will fail myself and others repeatedly. I need to understand that others fail, my body fails, and stuff just happens. Reason will not always be satisfied. Not all conflicts will be resolved. I need to live with these facts gracefully, for my sake and for the sake of those I love. There will be consequences, but if I can allow grace, Christ’s and my own, to enter and do its work, so will love, beauty and hope. This day, that is my choice. And maybe soon I can shed it around me.

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