Friday, September 16, 2011

Dilemmas, Dilemmas

Day 18 - Today I will try to be aware of ways I'm still trying to earn your love.  I want to learn to rest in your grace.

Rest.  Does anyone in America truly know what that word means?  I'm not sure I do.  Even when I'm "resting,"  at the very least I'm making a to-do list in my head.  We are continually going, non-stop, all day long.  There are some days I wake up, get ready for work, do the dishes, update the budget, pack my lunch, vacuum, go to work, come home for my "break" which means unloading the dishwasher and putting away the dishes I did in the morning as well as writing out a few checks, then it's back to work, take laundry to laundromat, get home, clean up some clutter, go switch laundry to dryer, go back home, start dinner, go pick up laundry, finish dinner, fold laundry, eat dinner, start the grocery list/menu for the next couple of weeks, research moving companies, balance checkbook, go to bed...  The insanity is that I do this all of the time.  It isn't very often where I just sit in front of the TV and do nothing (and I'm sure this goes for many, MANY other people).  I always have to be busy.  My mind doesn't have a pause button.  In other words, I don't know what rest means.  This brings us to my first dilemma - how am I supposed to rest in God's grace if I don't know what resting even looks like?

Second dilemma - as Sheila Walsh notes, we (human beings) feel that we need to contribute in some way to anything that we receive.  We are receiving God's love, abundantly I might add, so we feel as if we need to contribute.  This looks different for each person - it may mean giving tithe and then some.  Or maybe it's spending every Saturday at the homeless shelter.  Or giving up something for lent.  Or, in my case, trying to maintain a picture of perfection.  Yes, I said it.  I am a perfectionist.  I want the vision people see of me to be a perfect one.  I don't want people to see me mess up, I don't want God to see me mess up.  But the fact of the matter is - I'm not perfect, I can't be perfect.  And if I think I can earn God's love through perfection, well then, I'm never going to earn it.

Yet then again...that's the whole point.  I can't earn God's love.  I already have it.  I have to stop trying to be perfect in order to earn His love.  If I mess up, from a simple slip to a huge mess, He is still going to love me because His love and my perfection are not connected.

So, in order to resolve my two dilemmas I have to simply let go.  I have to let go of this ideal of isn't going to happen on this earth.  And if I'm not trying so hard to be perfect (the perfect employee, the perfect wife, the perfect daughter, the perfect sister, the perfect friend...) then maybe I can sit back and actually rest for once.  Wait, what does that mean again??  : )  Just kidding.

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of your grace.  It brings me joy and peace in knowing that I don't have do anything in order to earn it, I don't even have to lift a finger!

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