I listened to a guy speaking of grace and merit badges, of how he was once a boy scout and proud of his ability to accomplish something and earn a merit badge. He grew up and took that same concept into faith with him and got busy doing good works to earn the Lord’s favor. His merit badges of faith, mission trips, bible verses read, time spent in prayer. Look at me Lord, look at all my merit badges, look at how I have earned the right to be a Christian, but not just any Christian, the best Christian ever.
Than God stepped in one day and said, hold up buddy, you’re doing it all wrong. It’s called “unmerited” favor for a reason. You can’t earn it. In fact, you’re actually starting to really annoy me…
Ha! Me too! I have been there so many times. I have been all fired up, ready to go, Lord let me serve you well today, and the Lord has simply said, “if you love me, rest at my feet.”
What the heck is with that? Talk about taking the wind right out of your sails. I can give my best Lucy impression here and say, mehhhhhh. It’s been unmistakable however, a clear command, “if you love me, rest at my feet.”
Just breath me in and receive. Be at peace. Be still and know that I am.
It’s hard to obey those commands, especially if you are part of a generation that knows the value of hard work, that believes in earning your merit, that fuels itself on it’s ability to do good deeds. “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Meritocracy, it’s a mindset that came before we started handing out participation trophies and grading on a curve. It’s not a bad thing either, but it can get away from you, and it can come between you and what God is trying to say to you.
Human Be-ings, not human Do-ings.
I am one of those people who can be dashing about, busy, busy, busy and the Lord could say, “here, I want you to do this one small thing,” and I will be rushing about, sorry Lord, too busy right now, too busy doing the Lord’s work. In fact, I don’t even have time to listen to you right now!
All in good humor, don’t do that. He doesn’t like it and it never ends well.
It’s really not about what we’re doing or not doing, it’s about having a clear understanding of what unmerited favor is all about. It’s about tuning in and listening to Him, knowing the difference between our will and His will. Our work is not always His work. What we wish to accomplish is not always what He wants to accomplish. He can surprise me, sometimes every ounce of my being will be saying “let’s rock and roll,” and He will simply say, “if you love me, rest at my feet.”
It can be maddening, makes you just want to wrestle someone in a vat of grapes, a la Lucy.