More and more God’s revealing to me my economical bent. I like to keep things even. Get a tally board. Keep track! I want to see my earnings! You give me a gift, I’ve got to write you a thank you note, or at least give you a thank you hug. You invite me over, now I’ve got to invite you over. Gah, what an endless cycle! Fun gets sucked out of it all because my earnings never measure up, and a balanced scale one moment can surprisingly become imbalanced the next.
For my birthday this January, I was given a surprise party like none other. I had no clue what my party planning friends were up to (they were sneaky mcsneakersons)! It’s impossible to describe all the delightful minutes of that night, but I’ll say this: not only was it a rockin’ party, but it was full of everything I love. All my friends and family (mom and dad came and lauren and mark sent videos) put on a show, performing some of my favorite musical numbers! All my favorite foods were in attendance (pizza n’ twizzlers- don’t judge) and they had me teach some Zumba dances. Basically, it was a night where people participated in things I love, not because they necessarily loved those things (it’s super scary to go up in front of people and perform) but because they loved me. How overwhelming. I sat in the audience, the receiver of such love, shaking my head in incredulity. Again, I don’t deserve this, so what could I do? Nothing but receive. I laughed heartily at my silly, amazing beloveds. And it was as if God had gotten a megaphone and yelled out across the mountaintops and the seas and all the houses over all the villages, that He loved me. With that resounding yell, my carefully measured scales were dashed to the ground.
What is more amazing is that I’m not alone in this undeserved party. No, no, God’s turning our personal economies upside-down right and left. God’s love for all of us is literally out of control. Wait, so love keeps no record of wrongs?! Do we realize he’s not keeping records, balances, or clothing us in stained attire? All of it is literally wiped away because of Christ. I’ve heard that 1 Cor. 13 passage before, but are we getting that truth into our everyday lives?
That’s where Ephesians 1:4 blows me away: “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Before we walked around and started being awesome or making mistakes, God chose us. It was nothing we performed or achieved to deserve God’s love. He just chose us before the creation of the world. If that doesn’t chip away at our innate works righteousness, I don’t know what will.
I’ll end with a vignette that personally answers my question above, “…are we getting that truth into our everyday lives?” The answer for me is, “Slowly but surely.” Today, when I looked inside my school mailbox, I was pleasantly surprised to find a york peppermint pattie there. I love york peppermint patties! Who doesn’t? This was my thought process that immediately followed: “Yay, chocolate! That’s so sweet. Wait, who gave it to me? No name. It’s an anonymous gift. Wow, that’s cool. Is it for me? Maybe it’s a mistake. No, I’m going to assume it’s for me. But wait, I want to thank them! Aw man, I can’t write them or text them or thank them now. I owe someone, and I don’t know who that someone is.” I started to get frustrated when the Spirit pricked me. The reality is I definitely don’t deserve a york peppermint pattie, and yet a kind person decided to lavish me with love by giving me one. No strings attached. So I will receive, and give thanks to my God. For he is the original love lavisher, and he is teaching me to joyfully receive with a thankful and humble heart. Oh how the gospel turns our world upside down! Thank you, my Father, for your megaphone loud love, for family and friends who put on such a surprise party, for the york peppermint pattie, and for Christ who was weighed and found wanting so that I would be weighed and found “nothing wanting.”
A blessed Ash Wednesday to you all.
(linking up at www.quitetheblog.com/)