Living Gifted

Most mornings, the easiest thing for me to do would be to curl up and stay out of sight for the day, much like my hamster does in her toilet paper roll hide-out.

I love brainstorming and dreaming big and flinging color into life.  But most of my ideas and ideals get so muddied up in the reality of living that I get tired of even trying again, so I respond by wanting to hide.

I want to hide when I’ve failed again. Snapped at someone. Gossiped. Let circumstances determine my behavior. I won’t say more here because this is not a public confessional, but believe me, it gets ugly. Those living closest to me know.

Sometimes all I can see are my failures, the past with all the blotches and blemishes.

But living with regret and hiding means living without grace.

And if there were no grace, no eraser of mistakes, no forgiveness, I would go out and kill myself.

But there is marvelous, infinite, matchless grace. Free. Poured out. Lavished on all creation. The past is in the past, covered, gone, for every repentant. This is what my friend reminded me of this summer, and she’s right.

“You are so, so gifted,” she said. She meant that I’ve been given so much–everything I have has been given, and mustn’t be denied or clenched tightly.

If I live as though my failures (and others’) are too big to release, it is to say that Jesus death wasn’t enough to satisfy God’s wrath, as if His grace isn’t as big as He said.  Which would be living in unbelief, and God has stern words for that kind of person. And I don’t want Jesus’ death to have been in vain, because I do love Him awfully, awfully much.

So I’m taking baby steps toward living in grace. It feels presumptuous to even say it but it’s true. Grace is charis, a gift given from a source outside ourselves, something to embrace and share, not try to produce it or hide from it.

Taking that gift with open hands is the only way to really live.