But I can see the pile of paperwork that didn’t get sorted, the 2010 calendar still on the counter that I didn’t get transcribed onto the 2011 one, the shower that still desperately needs cleaning, and two projects for others that I have not completed.
I don’t clearly remember the teachable moments I took advantage of with my kids, but I recall many times I lost my patience. I no longer feel proud of a day well spent, but still feel guilty for any time wasted. I can even remember thoughts I shouldn't have had and wrong attitudes I indulged for too long.
What IS that? Why does the memory of our successes vanish like a fog, but our mistakes relentlessly prick us? I don’t have the answer to that one. But whenever I feel this way, I know I need one medicine, and that is a huge dose of Grace.
Right at this moment, I’m going to heap up my mistakes.
Dump all the losses and small failures and misspoken words into a big pile.
And what I’m NOT going to say is, “There’s always next week.”
I’m not going to say, “I’ll try harder next time.”
And I’m certainly not going to make excuses, or dismiss the pile, or pretend it all doesn’t really matter. It all matters, and the reason I know is that someone lost His life for that pile.
My pile of mistakes matters so much that someone had to die.
Someone took the punishment for my heap of mistakes, mismanaged emotions, laziness, selfishness and lots of other things. And I can’t let myself wallow in self-pity over the fact that it all matters, that I hurt people and myself. I don’t let a sense of condemnation overwhelm me. But I realize I need Grace.
The response God wants from me is so very simple. He just wants me to accept it. I need Grace. I don’t need to be better or try harder or perform for Him. Grace is a free gift, but I have to receive it.
My arms can only carry one thing: either they are full of my garbage, or they are full of Grace. And I can’t receive Grace until I let go of my garbage.
I’m letting go. Right now. I am walking away from the guilt of the week, the struggle, the stress, the shame.
I can do that because I’m free. Jesus gives me the freedom to walk away. And that fact makes me bend my chin to my chest, close my eyes, and do another big sigh.
And say Thank you. Thank you.
Praying you too find the courage to let go of your garbage from the week, and welcome Grace on a Thursday.