(it's funny how sometimes things in life collide with beautiful and random unpredictability.)

i talked with a friend today about the devotions we're doing ultimately as a church, but more immediately as a small group. my friend made the comment that we'll need to make sure we do them, so that we're not looked at as slackers by the others in the group.

while i laughed, it made me wonder how often in life we do the right things with the wrong motives...or more accurately how often i have done this. i will admit, more often than not, even to myself, i am a paradox.

then i remembered something i had read in richard foster's book entitled 'prayer'. while this is primarily about prayer, it encompasses most, if not all of life.

"The truth of the matter is, we all come to prayer with a tangled mass of motives--altruistic and selfish, merciful and hateful, loving and bitter. Frankly, this side of eternity we will never unravel the good from the bad, the pure from the impure. But what i have come to see is that God is big enough to receive us with all our mixture. We do not have to be bright, or pure, or filled with faith, or anything. That is what grace means, and not only are we saved by grace, we live by it as well."

the perfectionist streak in me makes me want to get it all together before i set about to accomplish. 'it would make it all better,' i spend too much time rationalizing, 'if i did it in my own power'. but all these years have proven that this will never happen on its own.


so, God, in his great mercy, as richard so eloquently points out, has made a way even in the midst of my motive/perfectionist quandry. my only responsibility is to let go of how it "should" be, and surrender myself to those unconstrained rhythms of grace.



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