13 Jun, 2018

Evotional | June 13

13 Jun, 2018
LT Pentecost

by Tim Mooney

Reflection

“Grace” – it’s a word we throw around a lot.  But what does it mean?  Dietrich Bonhoeffer talked about cheap grace in his book, “The Cost of Discipleship.”  Grace is not something that lets you off the hook again and again and again.  Grace has a transformational quality to it.  It captures your soul and imagination, after you’ve tasted it, you want more.  It draws you toward it, and the realm of love it points to, and the transformation it asks of us.  When it gets a hold of you, you want to be grace-filled too!

Anne Lamott tells the story of when she bombed at a public event.  She felt bad.  But she said, “Grace is having a commitment to – or at least an acceptance of – being ineffective and foolish.  That our bottled charm is the main roadblock to drinking that cool clear glass of love.” And then she added: “The mystery of grace … it meets us where we are, but does not leave us where it found us.”

I went for a mountain bike ride with a friend.  She was faster, better.  I tried to keep up.  I had trouble in the hairpin turns, almost quit before reaching the top.  Coming down, I fell in a hairpin.  Scraped knee, almost hit my head on a big rock, bruised in places, but mostly my ego.  Then my bike chain slipped off and the derailleur broke!  I could feel the old funk coming on.  While I waited for my friend to bring her car, I called my sister.  She laughed, I laughed.  Grace.  I was not graceful at all on the bike, but Grace was there, a gift not to take myself so seriously, to be okay with failure and futility and fumbling.  Grace makes possible the dying to the false self we’ve built ourselves up to be.  Richard Rohr writes, “A true God experience really does save us, because it is always better than we thought we could expect or earn.”  At the heart of it all, somehow, grace is what life is all about:

I have stared down the devil, gone toe-to-toe with God,
I have wrestled with my demons, and I’ve walked where angels trod.
Still my best intentions fail me, and I give in to my frailty, and wind up on my face.
Despite all my misgivings, all You ever give is grace.

I’m the fool who never gets it, a second chance is just a start,
Although I know that I’ll regret it, I’ve got a hopeless heart.
Still my best intentions fail me, and I give in to my frailty, and wind up on my face.
Despite all my misgivings, all You ever give is grace. 

And I have taken life for granted, when I don’t deserve a lick,
And I have given up on trying, and is all I’ve left to give.
Still my best intentions fail me, and I give in to my frailty, and wind up on my face.
Despite all my misgivings, all You ever give is grace.
Despite all my misgivings, all You ever give is grace.

Grace by John Kingham 

Prayer

Holy One, open me to the presence of your grace, in all I experience. Amen.

Intention

During the week, what would it look like to being committed to, or at least accepting of, being ineffective and foolish; that it is not in our perfection or rightness, but in our humanness that grace is found?

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