Monday, February 15, 2010

Stick the Landing

One of my favorite athletic events to watch on TV is Gymnastics. I am always amazed by the incredible abilities of these gifted men and women. It’s evidence to me of just how fearfully and wonderfully made we really are.

There’s something that bugs me about gymnastics, though. The commentators are so critical! I’m watching some teenager tumble, flip and twist her heart out. The routine looks just perfect to me. But, the commentators almost appear to be anxiously awaiting the next miniscule error. They seem to take pleasure in pointing out even the smallest mistakes that the average viewer would miss. I realize they are just doing their job and pointing out the things that the judges are looking for and explaining the possible areas where points may be deducted. But, just once, I want a commentator to say something like, “Yeah, so what she did two twists instead of three. Who cares she didn’t keep her arms perfectly straight. Big deal she wobbled a little on the landing. Did you see how awesome that was! Can you believe how high that 5’2” child just launched herself into the air? Judges, I’d like to see you do that!”

The sad thing is, I often imagine God to be like a gymnastics commentator or judge, honing in on every little and big mistake out and then deducting points. “Oooh, she just gossiped about her friend, that’s gonna cost her.” Or, “Wow, Tami was doing so well with her routine until she lost her temper with her kids. She’ll never win the gold now.”

It’s really hard for me to wrap my heart around the kind of grace that God extends. The truth is though, that in the end, God wants nothing more than for me to “stick the landing” and spend an eternity with Him. There are no hoops to jump through or balance beams to master in order for this to happen. All that is required is an exercise in faith; faith in the promise that Jesus has forgiven my errors already.

So, if you are like me and have a hard time with the concept of grace, take some assurance from these verses from Hebrews- “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

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