Take chances. Abandon all the rules. Ditch the recipe. Color outside the lines.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Sermon from the Shower

I posted a status on my Facebook last night about a tendency I have to preach in the shower.  Yes, that makes me kind of a dork, but it’s absolutely 100% true!  There is this well-known, and often joked about truth out there that all deep thought and life reflection happens in the shower.  This is mostly true for me as that tends to be the only place where I’m completely alone with no distractions. 

Thus, the shower sermons are born out of my reflections on life.  I fervently preach them to my audience of shampoo, shower head, and suds as if I were speaking to a church full of people.

Last night I was thinking about grace and how I am ever learning more about it as time goes on, and the fact that it never ceases to surprise and amaze me, as it ignites more passion right when I thought I had reached maximum passion levels.  In that moment I was reminded of a common question asked again of me recently:

“Why do you believe in such radical grace?”

The answer is simple really.  I believe in it because I tried everything else and it didn’t work.
I tried living up to religion’s standards and it made me a failure.
I tried living without rules or morality and it made me empty.
I tried making people happy and it made me a liar.
I tried pleasing only myself and it made me an addict.

Then I tried grace and grace made me enough.
Grace made me perfect.
Grace made me loved.
Grace made me free.
Grace made me RIGHTEOUS!

Everything else in this world, every other path it has to offer, even those paved with religion, do nothing but destroy us from inside out.  I know because I’ve walked them.  They destroy us and then try to convince us that this new road, this unknown narrow road called grace, will do the same to us if we venture down it.  So we cower away.  We dare not take the chance of trading one broken road for another so we just sit there in our brokenness and cry about how much it hurts.  I know because I’ve done that.

And we miss out on the glory of grace for the fear of failure, the agony of emptiness, or the possibility of pain.

We sit there and we see others who live radically and we ask them, “Why, why do you believe what you do.”  But really what we mean is, “How?  How do you believe it?”

And for that question I don’t really know if there is an answer.

I don’t think there is always an instruction booklet when it comes to life, and definitely not when it comes to belief.  Sometimes you just have to go off script, ditch the recipe, and jump off the cliff.  Most times that jump is absolutely terrifying, so we try to stop the fall.  We grasp desperately for something along the side of the cliff to slow our decent into uncertainty.  Soon we discover that nothing holds us as we look down to bloody knuckles, burned palms, and dust between our fingers. 
We say, “God look what you did to my hands! I knew I shouldn’t have jumped!”

 And we forget that we’re the ones who tried to stop the fall, because we were afraid of what was at the end of it.  Our broken hands are not a result of the jump, but the resistance of it. 

See when you resist grace, when you live a life contrary to it, attempting to be good enough on your own, all you can find is brokenness.  Brokenness not as a result of God’s wrath but of our efforts.

Our efforts that amount to nothing but emptiness, failure, pain, loneliness, and everything we are trying so desperately to avoid.  Our efforts that, at the end of the day, just leave us grasping at dust.

I have a secret to tell you.  A mystery to reveal, as Paul calls it.

I know what’s at the end of the fall.

Want to know what it is?

Love. Joy. Contentment. Acceptance. Healing. Righteousness. Peace. Holiness. Adoption. Friendship. Wholeness. Freedom. Kindness. Unbelievable favor. Oneness with the Creator of the universe. Perfection. Forgiveness.  Jesus.  Every single positive thing you’ve ever craved from another person, it’s there, He has it, and it’s yours!  All waiting for you.  At the end of the fall.

How?  How do you believe it?

Just jump.

It’s that simple and that complex.

Jump first.  Fear later. 

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