So I was talking to guy I know through work , I really don’t know him well at all, but he is a good guy. We don’t get to talk that that often, but we had some time this week to get to know each other.
In the course of that conversation we got around to how I preach 3 Sundays a month. It always amazes me how that almost always changes the conversation, usually for the better. I never know what I am going to get into, I guess that’s one of the joys in life, the surprise of it all.
So back to the conversation, he starts off by telling me of all the “things” he has , RV, motorcycle, boat, snow machine, etc. Also all the vacations he and his wife have been on, they have been blessed to see much of the country and the world!
I have to admit part of me was\is jealous of the life they get to live, and God Bless them they have earned it! On the other hand I was struck by emptiness of it all, I played that game for a long time myself, and truthfully I still struggle with how to be “of this world and not in it.” Sometimes I do it better than others, right now I am struggling with that part of me- quite a bit if truth be told. That’s called Hell by the way. When you move away from God Grace, and make no mistake- we do it to ourselves.
When I preach about money, I like to quote Billy Graham “The wrong is not when men posses riches, it’s when the riches posses the men.” The riches use to ,and still try to posses me. More accurately, I allow them to posses my thoughts, again. That’s Hell , when we choose to move out of God’s Grace. That my EGO coming out again, to much of me and not enough God.
We are taught here in America, that more is always better, bigger is always better, achieving and pushing is “what” we do. If that’s the American dream- then why are so many of us disillusioned with this “dream” and miserable? Why do so many of us end up asking ourselves, is this all there is, what am I about, what am I doing here?
So we think more of the same will “fix” that part of us that’s missing, that hole in us, but it doesn’t, we just try to get more. More of everything, more money, more toys, more neuroses, more addictions, more parties, more drinking, more travel, more house, more, more, more.
What we need is less, less of us and this world, and more of God. That hole we are trying to fill is the part in us that God should be filling in our lives. Make no mistake, God is always there, as constant out pouring of love, we just have to turn our receptors back on to receive her love.
Back to the conservation, this guy then proceeds to tell me how he is a regular at church , and where do I preach, etc . We talked a little more and he got emotional and tear’d up in his office, and told me he doesn’t think “he is good enough for God. ” That was not what I was expecting to hear from him, not in our first “real” conversation, but it was beautiful , the honesty of it, the purity of it. I can I relate to that, that’s how I use to feel myself at times, when I had more pain and less of her Grace in my life.
I am glad he trusted me enough to open up to me!
I tried to help – “there is absolutely nothing you can do to make yourself good enough for God, nor should you try.”
It all comes from God freely
We are whole and compete with God, from the start, there is nothing you can do or say to make it otherwise, Nothing, Nada, Zilch.
To paraphrase Richard Rohr , “everything we need comes in the box from the MFG.”
William Sloan Coffin said ” we get just enough religion to make us miserable.”
Boy is that the truth for many of us! Or all of us some of the time.
The key is to know that we cannot do anything to stop God’s love “to” us, nothing, the rest of it comes from us, and the noise we allow into our lives.
Know you are loved, you “are” love, and there is nothing you can do about it, just accept it as the free gift that it is, with nooooooo strings attached.
Fill that hole that’s missing in you, with the radical Love and Grace that passes all human understanding. Turn on you “receptors” and let God back in.