Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sinking in an Ocean of Grace

What a crazy life this is.

The 'shuffle' option on ones' IPOD is ideal for mirroring thoughts about the complexities and diversities of life. Mine, for instance, will roll from Ray Lamontange to the Beatles, from Fiest to Nelly, from musical soundtracks to worship music, from Weezer to Justin Timberlake. Inside my IPOD, all of these genres, musicians, and bands, not only peacefully coexist, but enjoy rich friendship with each other.

Such is life. Life flows forward with its own temperamental moodiness, such that it seems to have little definitive direction or purpose. Sometimes its easy to feel that your life is just a mixed jumble of choppy rapids and stagnant pools. Day to day, even hour to hour, every minute is full of so much. The BIGNESS of life is shocking. Opportunities are endless. And still, the smallness of my life can be discouraging. How is it possible to be struck with both the grandiosity and insignificance of your life? Who knows. When I was younger, I had this idea that as I got older, the questions would get easier to answer. Not only do they get harder, but there are more of them. And still they keep coming forward, voicing their dissension, upsetting the status quo, until one feels like they may drown under their weight. What to do, what to do? How do we love one another? How do we fight for justice? How do we surrender the fight for our own interests? What does a life truly lived by Christ's commandments really look like? Which issues are the most pressing? Do politics even fit in? What to do, what to do? Where is the line between acceptance of a person and condoning things that you disagree with? What the hell is humility and how do I get ahold of it?! What does love look like? Why do we reserve it for a few, and withhold it from the rest? How do we pour out our lives? Where do we pour? What to do, what to do?

I wonder why we're so confused and crippled. And then I open up the New York Times and see articles about starvation, violence, disease, death, oppression, and war next to ads that tell me to spend more money, be more beautiful, have more stuff. There, it's impossible to hear about injustice without hearing about excess. Talk about disconnect. As my dear friend Mona would say, "What a freakin' nightmare!"

Questions, Questions, Questions. Failure, Failure, Failure. Oh, how I fail. Everyday. Everyday I choose my own needs over others; my own rights and justice for myself before sacrifice and humility; I choose who I'm going to love and affirm, and who I'm going to scorn and slight. I want to be filled with love abundant, but still I'm full of bitterness and selfishness and vanity. Drowning, Drowning, Drowning. In grace. This journey over rocks and deep pools, rushing, rushing, rushing; around trees, sharp bends running, running, running. Jesus, my Jesus, I'm sinking, sinking, sinking in your grace. Your overwhelming grace. Your grace and mercy that you sacrificed so much for me to use and abuse. Your grace that covers my failings, my miserable failings. Jesus, my Jesus, I'm sinking, sinking, sinking in your grace.

"If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking..."
-John Mark McMillian

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