Friday, July 24, 2020
is what God
uses for abundant life for all.
We have long been like those whom you do not rule, like those not called by your name.
And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.
Words of Grace For Today
Like the meadow outside filled with more weeds than grass, and years of dead weeds and grasses rotting underfoot, we were once and still are filled with the dregs of sin, the work of evil in and through us, rotting at our core, infecting like a super-virus, all that we think, say and do.
Though the weeds and grass can be mowed short to inhibit the proliferation of mosquitoes, to which I am allergic after so many bites in the past months, it is not anything like a well groomed lawn. There are many visions of beautiful blue-grass image of smooth green mostly for viewing and showing off to one’s neighbours, which can be used for picnics and croquet or soccer and bocce ball. The work it takes to create and maintain such an unnatural thing is huge: mowing, fertilizing, watering, more mowing and thatching.
This is not unlike the visions the devil fills our hearts and minds with, that our hearts, minds, and strengths could be so perfectly groomed into artificial perfection by our great efforts of attending to our souls. The creating of such perfection is beyond us, though we do have the fertilizing part down pat. Falling so short of an unattainable perfection, the devil then plants in us innumerable rationalizations that we can still attain the unattainable, using all sorts of excuses as we try to attain perfection in vain, running roughshod over other people and creation without pause.
These temptations, to try to attain our own perfection and use that as an excuse to ruin creatures and creation, are not our first request of God. We start this petition with AND do not bring us to the time of trial … Yet we pray this fervently each day.
We know we are hopelessly outmatched by the Devil. Only God can save us.
Jesus’ story assures us, God does save us. We cannot and do not need to strive to be perfect. We can strive to allow the Holy Spirit to work through us.
We can recognize that all that crap in our lives can serve as fertilizer for the Word of God to grow in us. We can attend to mowing, trust God to bring the water, sunshine and warmth needed for life, and be at peace with what God makes us.
We are not perfect meadows or lawns. We are a mix of good grass and noxious weeds and thistles. There is plenty of old weeds rotting within us. We need not be concerned, for God accepts us as we are, replaces our records with Jesus’ record making us pure in each moment, and then the Holy Spirit sends us out to share this same story of salvation for all with all people.
Croquet on an imperfect lawn is more fun than on a perfect lawn, for the play of the mallet on the ball is not what brings success. Success is measured in the pure joy one shares with the time one spends with the other players and those who watch.