I used to work so hard at my faith.
That is not a value judgment, just a statement of fact. Not sure that it could be otherwise, given the set of circumstances that made up “me” at the beginning of my personal walk with God. It didn’t need to be quite as hard as I made it, though.
Today, I am aware of how much that has changed, and how I seem to be flowing in an almost effortless stream of Grace. Maybe this is how the accumulation of choices begins to look, like a growing force of a stream that carries us further than our own efforts could manage.
A reverse of the warning in Proverbs:
9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
When will you rise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to sleep—
11 So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man.
I have experienced that side of it, too, in the power of accumulated choices.
Perhaps, some of the ease comes from having settled, once and for all, some of the questions, and some of the terms of life.
I am realizing the line between what I can hope to change and what I cannot, and it has reduced much of the struggle that made life so hard.
I wonder how much age has to do with it. Age requires that you realize your own limitations, and makes one quicker to let go and “Let God”, which is experienced as ‘Grace’. Until you let go of your own trust in your willpower and ability, you can’t experience the power of something else.
Too often we labor at hand grubbing at life problems, when the power tiller of prayer could do the job in less than a fraction of the time.
I doubt that all of life can be experienced as a gentle ride in a beautiful stream on a lovely day. But this is what I found out: some of it can.
I see why the parable of the Sower was so basic to understanding things about God and how His Kingdom works. He set the understanding within the life of a seed.
- We are important – in distributing seed, and in helping to create conditions for its germination.
- We are limited in both those actions.
- God sends the rain, but we can help to water between times.
- We watch for weeds, we nurture along.
- We have no power over the life in the seed.
- We have no power over the conditions of the weather.
- We have no power over the growing process, we can only provide supplements and hope for the best.
- We can give thanks when it completes its cycle.
The stream of Grace is a bit like the well prepared garden bed. It is a good environment for the progression forward.
A state of readiness.
There is a time to rest and a time to work, the balance between the two is one of the pearls of wisdom in this life.
I love pearls. And now appreciate gentle streams.