Entering the economy of grace

We don’t have to be mid-level bureaucrats over life any more. No more paper pushing or passing the buck.

After every dark night, a new day dawns. It is not a matter of having earned the light of day; that notion is absurd. Do the tender shoots of new life breaking through the soil bargain with the sun? A merit-based system of worthiness values proof and performance over inherent virtue. These are the scales of success and failure that keep us in a perpetual to-and-fro between enough and never-enough. On this wheel of fortune, there is always another spin. Sufficiency is only temporary.  

But in the economy of grace, nothing is earned; nor is it freely given. We cannot be given what we already possess. There’s more than enough God to go around. It does not require any effort on our behalf. Any struggle is a struggle to adapt to this new reality – a commitment to struggle itself. When there’s no resistance to push against, yet we continue to push, we will fall over ourselves. It’s humbling in the best possible way. And quite funny.

If our efforts are surplus to requirement, then what is there to do exactly? We can still turn not-doing into a thing, another performance marker. Being no-thing is challenging, yet nothing is required. We can spin our wheels trying to work out that paradox or watch the way the rising sun changes the color of the sky; watch the way it heats the dew into blankets of steam. Transformation is not managed. It really is hubris to think otherwise.

Listen up! The soul is whispering… these aren’t instructions as much as tweaks to our receptivity. Don’t expect a liner process. What the soul says may not make sense to our old modes of perception. Miracles are the currency of the economy of grace. Grasping for goals sets the bar too low. We just have to be facing in the right direction; if not, we will be moved with what may feel like unseemly haste. The ego may even be shocked into compliance. Now we know who’s in charge.

That long incubation – doing with less of everything – really did change us. We have been cultivated for this moment: to recognize that we are much more and way less than what we had imagined. We don’t have to be mid-level bureaucrats over life any more. No more paper pushing or passing the buck. We are reconciling effort and no-effort into effortlessness. A new day has dawned and we don’t even need to believe it. The sun rises regardless. Let life live us, and see where we are needed.   

Photos by Dan Carlson and Janet Wiedenhoeft  on Unsplash

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