Grace is when God gives us that which we don’t deserve, mercy is when He spares us the consequences we surely do, and a blessing is when He is generous on both fronts.
There are probably just as many stories about someone doing the right thing and winning as there are about someone doing the right thing yet losing. Both stories are inspiring not for their outcomes but for their decisions to deliberately do what is right, regardless the outcome. When we do the right things the outcomes cease being the climax, focus, meaning or purpose of the story but the doing of the right thing is itself the sole author of the inspiration. Outcomes are too often overrated, mostly by those who don’t live by faith and in so doing, learning nothing about having joy in endings unknown.
Spiders, clown faces,
And bridges collapsing.
Burglars who break in on you
While you’re napping.
Slivers and big dogs who
Foam at the mouth,
These fears turn all my anxieties south.
Zombies and barfing
Free falls from high places,
Tornadoes, lightning and
Tightly closed spaces,
Birds that attack and
All things that sting,
These are a few of my scariest things.
When there’s alley fights,
Entries with no lights,
When I’m home alone,
These are a few of the horrible things,
That make up my great un-known.
IRS letters and CPS knocking
Nightmares of falling
And empty chairs rocking,
Faces in windows when I’m in the shower
I can think up most anything scary at this hour.
3am, longing out the window at the quiet darkness, a cloudy sky and 35 degrees, I said “It’s just you and me, God. Everyone’s asleep. Nobody else needs to see if you just let a few wintry snowflakes drop down right here, right now, just for me.” And at that very moment, I looked up to hear the ice maker drop its load in the freezer, and that was a good enough answer to prayer for a Vegas boy.
3am, longing out the window at the quiet darkness, a cloudy sky and 33 degrees, I said “It’s just you and me, God. Everyone’s asleep. Nobody else needs to see if you just let a few wintry snowflakes drop down right here, right now, just for me.” And at that very moment, I looked up to hear the ice maker drop its load in the freezer, and that was a good enough answer to prayer for a Vegas boy.
A fresh beginning to a new year, a clean page on life’s calendar, a symbolic start to better intentions, clarity in focus, or maybe a simple sentimental morning to contemplate the parade of your life. A day off work, extra time to wipe slates and imagine how the new year might unfold. Some will wake desperate for aspirin and coffee, football distractions or to clean up wild night messes before sleeping away the day’s remains from which they only recently arrived home. But I suspect more than a sober few will be thinking deeper thoughts from time to time today. Plans for self-restraint, to be a little nicer, quit a bad habit or start one better. For today’s curious and contemplative minds the options are limitless. So, applause to those making use of this new day as a personal prompt for positive change, at least in thought, if not in deed. It’s a good day for it. Some require an external catalyst like a nodal event or an arbitrary date of a year to be propelled into deeper thoughts and richer inner lives. Shocking or startling, they shake us to our cores begging for change, forcing us once again into the awful truth: We waited for something to force our hand, but also the glorious redemption that the only difference between last year’s regrets and this year’s successes is just another day, and how we use it.