I was in a funk, terribly bored by the Internet, television, and movies; despising the regular patterns of my life. The more I dreamed of something that would bring a glimmer of life to my soul, the more unattainable it seemed.
Fear was holding me tightly, even though I hardly recognized it at the time. I am just now beginning to market my book, but I had already begun to fear that it would never get off the ground and it would soon join the long list of vocational failures.
I was losing the battle for my own mind, wanting to run away from myself.
The good thing about reaching bottom is that you can only look up. The sheer terror of life at the bottom of the barrel can be a very motivating factor. So, I began to turn from the land of emotional knee-jerk reactions, to re-enter the realm of rationality. I took stock of matters, concluding that I must follow my heart, and work very hard at doing so.
Even though part of my personal mantra is to nurture my own soul, I am not very good at doing it with much consistently. But for the last few days that is exactly want I have done.
I turned up the music to near lethal levels, brought out my guitar and wailed my heart out. I ate out, forgetting about the diet for brief spurts of culinary delight. I went to new places and saw new art and new countryside. I did all of this with people I love.
Guess what happened? I am at that new, refreshed place that seemed like a distant dream such a short time ago.
Through my “recovery” I have been thinking about grace. I have always held on to grace as my only hope, but often it was a completely mental exercise, lately, it has, once again, become a life experience.
Grace tells me…
- That I am not a lost cause
- That my experience is always “redeemable”
- That screwing up for the umpteenth time, or excelling beyond my expectations, doesn’t change a thing in how God loves me
- That I live life without a safety net. In other words, no matter how good my intentions, or how much accountability is or isn’t in my life; I may blow it. There is no totally effective safety net to protect us from ourselves, our decisions, our sin, and the things we do that hurt ourselves and others. It’s a life of freedom, and responsibility; fulfillment, and danger; sin, and grace.
- That his unconditional love is the only true safety net
- That his unconditional love is the greatest motivation to make good decisions and avoid stupid ones (sin)
- That a little personal honesty can go a long way in encouraging other people who think they are the only ones who struggle in a particular manner
- That I really can contribute positively to other people’s lives in planned and unplanned ways, mostly by just loving them unconditionally
- That I am free to live out my truest identity with passion and joy, and without apology