Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Grace Awakening

I'm reading about grace right now, in Philip Yancey's book, "What's so Amazing About Grace?", and discovering that EVERYTHING about grace is amazing. From the depth of God's grace to the sheer lack of it in myself.
Particularly when I'm driving. One of my pet peeves is when one lane of traffic is closed off for construction, and there are signs announcing this fact several kilometers in advance, AND STILL people speed along in the soon-to-be-closed lane and expect to be let in at the very last minute. I want to shout at them, "don't you know that YOU'RE the one holding up traffic, because people have to stop and let you in?!? If you'd just get in line like everybody else, we could all get where we're going a lot faster!" My main thought being, you don't deserve to be let in if you don't want to follow the rules. Not too much grace there.
Not when

" the realm of grace the word deserve does not even apply." (pg 62)

Hmmm...the word deserve does not even apply. This rails against everything in me. And, I think, most people. We get angry when someone gets less jail time than they deserve for committing a crime. Most people think they deserve to get paid more, or have a big house, fancy car, and exotic vacations. Think about the McDonald's slogan "you deserve a break today." What does that say? You've worked hard - you deserve a rest. Sure, I have no problem with that. I have no problem with people getting what they deserve. It's when they get more or less than they deserve that I start thinking "that's not fair!" (And how should I know what they deserve anyway? But that's a whole different blog...) Kind of like Jesus' parable about the workers who all received the same pay, even though some worked 12 hours and some worked only 1.

"They could not accept that their employer had the right to do what he wanted with his money when it meant paying scoundrels twelve times what they deserved." (pg 63, italics mine.)

But God's grace is not about being fair. It's not about earning his rewards, or deserving anything. It's simply about his wanting to give good gifts to all - even those who don't deserve them (in our eyes). But maybe that's the point. When I read the story, I always think that I'm one of the deserving ones, but maybe I'm not. And if I'm not one of the deserving ones, than I should be humbled and thankful, because I don't deserve what I've been given.

And maybe that's the whole point.