“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast;”
Grace. The spectacular promise of favorable attention in spite of unfavorable actions.
Saved. Lifted up from a life of perpetual despair and wrongdoing.
Faith. A mustard seed is all it takes to grab on to the greatest gift of all time.
Gift of God. An offer so compelling we can hardly bear to look away and yet struggle to fully understand.
Works. The well-intentioned striving that often comes from spaces of guilt and shame rather than perfect love.
Anyone. All of us laid bare at the foot of the cross, unable to point to anything we’ve done as proof of our salvation.
Thank you Father God for your plan which includes me, allows me to be human, yet beckons me to a new way of living which floods my every moment with the promise of perpetual beginning. Your plan for my life is all I need and all I want to long for. Guide me in knowing and understanding the heavenly process which excites my heart and captivates my mind.
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Image via: Fuu J
I am enough.
Not in the shallow “yay me…I’m perfect” sense of the phrase. Rather, in the “I am enough because I’m learning every second I’m alive and who I am in the moment is what it is. “
It’s not as if we can suddenly jump to as good as an eighty year old when we are half that age. With time comes experience, wisdom and a kind of acceptance that can only come from a lot of life lived. Of course not everyone who reaches a ripe old age is wise and endearing. In fact, some senior citizens are grumpy and bitter, with a great big chip on their shoulder. And yet, in the season that they are, they are enough.
You may have heard that most people are doing the best they can. I have come to believe that is a generally accurate statement. Even if someone is further on in years, perhaps they haven’t had the opportunity for growth yet. Maybe they weren’t raised with an understanding of teachability. It’s important to come to every relationship with a great deal of empathy for what a person may have lived through.
This is true when it comes to ourselves. It’s easy to discount the things I have gone through without another thought. But that’s not really realistic. When others hear your story, they recognize it for what it is— a difficult journey that has ups and downs, deep dives and turns more times than you can count.
We should be easier and kinder with our hearts when it comes to the what, when, how and why of our earthly existence. And then, sometimes we raise ourselves to godlike status, both in what we think we deserve and in how we assume we should be thinking. As a Christ follower, I do believe that he makes me into a new creation, different from who I was and who I would become without his grace. But, at the same time, I can’t ever assume that I am on equal footing with the creator of the universe. We say we don’t believe that, but our actions and even our thoughts prove otherwise.
I think we know instinctively that we were created for more, so we strive for it continually. Maybe not everyone of us, but certainly the vast majority. While we might not be gods, we want to be like one. We want absolute authority and say over our lives and we want to direct what happens to us and through us. Even though it’s not realistic, and a part of us knows this, we will fight for our piece of earthly status every single day.
I’m not asking myself or those I advise to live as if everything of importance isn’t important. We certainly should live as though what we think, say or do is impactful on our society. If we say life matters, then we should make it matter. But, there are times when we go a little too far with our self-reliance and search for significance. You are enough because you are a beautiful human with unlimited potential. The measure of our worth is not bound up in how much of that potential we live out. Our worth is simply there, no matter if we end up becoming a entrepreneur who donates millions to charity, or a paraplegic who encourages people with notes and phone calls.
The fact that you have a brain, a heart and cells that work together in some manner of equilibrium is fascinating and important enough. Add on to those features the idea that you embody an eternal soul which has a capacity for more than we can imagine. You are uniquely wonderful no matter who you are, what age you’ve reached and how much you’ve done.
Why is it hard to sit in that truth and accept it? At least it can be for me. I have a lot of “but, I need to…” statements that come to mind whenever someone reminds me of my worth as a created being. It’s a worn out analogy, but I think of how much worth we place on a baby when they are born. They literally can’t do anything except be cute, cry and sleep. And yet we can’t get enough of them! We practically bow to their every whim and want nothing more than to invest in their flourishing.
And yet, we look at humans who have added years to their life, or even at ourselves and assume we aren’t deserving of the same kind of affection. Perhaps it’s because of the baggage which inevitably comes with life itself. We learn to think of ourselves as less than favorable. These thoughts are kind of engraved into our psyche from a young age, even if we have the most thoughtful, caring people surrounding us. There’s always something we feel we are lacking in.
And the truth is, we are lacking. We truly are. It’s part of the human existence to be reaching for another level in some area. If it weren’t, we wouldn't live very long. We would just let whatever was going to come our way come and we wouldn’t think it important to try something different for our survival.
So how do we navigate the tension between good enough and not good enough? You know…the inward understanding that we are beautiful no matter what and the intuition that we have so much more to learn about and a great deal to do on this earth. I suppose it comes down to the idea that we work and grow from a place of satisfied acceptance that who we are in this very moment is okay and also not okay.
And that’s truly okay.
Image via: Unsplash
#enough #perfection #life #age #growth #growing #maturity #acceptance
There’s a spectacular place where dreams come true and hearts are tended by calming sustenance. Hard work and holy love combine to make beautiful masterpieces of nourishing perfection. Even feeble attempts are counted as worthy, whether they are palatable or not. This space has long been the cornerstone of home and habitat. The environmental impact of a place where lives intersect is keenly felt by all who enter. This beautiful, purposeful dwelling wraps the soul of desire up with its warmth and support. There is a deep emotional bond which seeks personhood, not worthiness—a hallowed sphere where the lowly mingles with lavish. There are few things more captivating than the sacred space where we live and mingle as hungry hearts and eager spirits, yearning for a place to belong and finding it in the comfort offered there.”
Image via: Monika Grabkowska
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