We’ve been trying to rebuild Eden since the day we got kicked out.
And I find myself on the construction site more than I’d like to admit.
But no amount of success is big enough.
No amount of money is deep enough.
No amount of attention or adoration or approval is strong enough.
Before I wrote a book, I thought maybe being an author would be enough.
Before I spoke on stage, I thought maybe a crowd would be enough.
Before I had a house, I thought maybe a home would be enough.
Everything I’ve ever acquired in my life has burned bright at first, but it turned to ashes in my hands when I tried to turn it into my Savior.
But still, I build. Perhaps, if I can’t recreate my own version of Eden, I can at least make a ladder to get back into yours. I perform. I strive. I strain. I accomplish.
And yet the rungs are never high enough. I can glimpse the glow of where I want to be, but just can’t get there via me.
Then there is grace. Frustrating, frustrating grace. Like everything else in my life, I want to control it. To shape it. To make it do the things I want it to do.
It won’t. Grace refuses to be controlled.
Well, then, maybe I can earn it? Maybe I can buy it in bulk with my good behavior. Maybe I can balance out the filth of my failures with good performances. But you give it freely.
You won’t let me earn it. You don’t let me dance for it. You just tell me to come dance.
Which feels so lazy!
I am the prodigal son returning home for a job. I am returning home to work my way back onto the farm.
And, instead, you throw an unbridled, unexpected, UNDESERVED party.
I’m afraid to accept it because I don’t think I’m good enough to maintain it. I don’t think I can be as perfect as I need to be in order to continue deserving it. Now that it’s in my hands, my hands can never be dirty again. You hand me grace, and I think you’re handing me an expectation.
And it weighs so much. I’m afraid to drop it, but the expectation to be perfect is heavier than I can carry. I know this is foolish. I know in my head that, when you give us grace, you are not finishing the process of forgiveness, you are beginning it.
But in my ears I hear differently. I cobble together a view of you that is untrue. From bad sermons and bad books and bad theology and bad friends, I build a bad God.
I don’t know who you are yet, but I know it’s not who I’ve built you to be.
When you hand me grace, please take away my hammer too.
I’m tired of being in the construction business.