January 1, 2012

When Grace Wanders Off

Grace is like a small child who easily slips away unnoticed or constantly lags behind, entranced with wonder at every leaf or puppy. Without constant attention and lots of hand holding, grace wanders off. And when grace wanders off, it takes me far too long to realize it.
Somewhere along the way this past year I lost grace.

I got distracted, concerned with the "what nexts" and the "what ifs" and the "why nots", my mind so full of churning self-focused stuff that I don't even know when grace got lost.

I got hurried, running ahead, begging grace to keep up with all my plans and my purposes, so sure I could make it on my own for a while.

It wasn't until I got weary and restless, trying so hard to make things fit and make things right and make things happen and have something to show for myself and be a little more presentable and a little more together, that I looked around and realized grace was lost.

So I have been searching for grace, all the while trying to remember what grace looks like, trying to listen for grace's voice, calling out for Him, so certain of how I much I very much need to find grace again.

This past week, in the quiet of the after-holiday, I found grace again. Or rather, grace found me.

But grace is not the small child wandering off.
I am.
I try to boss grace around and impatiently implore it to keep up with me, but run off and lose it in the process.

Maybe that's why Paul said Stand firm in the liberty by which Christ has made us free. We have to hold hands with grace or we wander off, either so sure we can walk on our own or so weighed down with guilt that we distance ourselves.

This year, 2012, I am clinging to grace, the grace that is found at the cross of Christ. I'm not letting grace out of my sight. I'm going to let it parent me, lead me, decide for me, respond for me, change me.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, calling me back because I've wandered away. I once was lost, but I've been found again. And, each day, I'm going to let His grace find me again and again and again.

Oh to grace how great a debtor 
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.
Prone to leave the God I love; 
Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.