We each have a life story, penned without ink, read by the people around us. Who's writing your story?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Amazed by Grace


Guilty I stand,
Hands shackled behind me.
Guilty I stand, head bowed, alone.
The sentence echoes
against the walls of my heart:
"Condemned to die!"
Guilty . . . Condemned . . . Without hope.


Righteous He stands,
Hands scarred, perfect as God Himself.
Righteous He stands,
Raised up from dying
condemned--instead of me.
Unshackled from mortality like a prisoner freed,
He breaks away the rusted handcuffs of my sin.

Amazed by grace, I go free.

 For He made Him who knew no sin
to be sin for us,
That we might become
the righteousness of God in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:21 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Time . . . and the Will of God

Is your to-do list as long as mine?

I wrote the list I'm working off today on the back of an RSVP card from Sharon's wedding. A check-mark means I've started the job; a cross-out means I've completed it. No sooner do I finish one task and I think of another. So much to do . . . so little time. Does the clock tick and tock in fast-forward these days?

Way back in the 1970s, in the days of dorm life and due dates, classes and curfews, I felt the same way. The pressure never ended. Always another assignment . . . another exam . . . and so little time (with so little sleep). One day, my fiance (the same great guy who put fragrant flowers in my mailbox and pulled me away from the library at 9:00 every night) made a statement I still remember: 

"There is always time to do the will of God."          

The will of God . . . How do I get the will of God on my list?

Jesus answered a similar question, one that asked, "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment?" What's really important? What should be at the top of the list?
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:34-40).
What on my list reflects the words of Jesus?

I'm learning to jot down what I think I need to do as I read the Scriptures and pray each morning. To separate the important from the urgent. To ask for wisdom on how to spend each precious moment. To be still and listen. I'm trying to compose my list loosely, leaving some margin for unanticipated, yet God-ordained, interruptions . . . perhaps a change of plans or a different direction altogether. 

I find a list helpful to keep my story focused. I'm sure mine looks different from yours. But the will of God for all of us includes a deep love for the Lord and a sensitivity to those who walk beside us. On these two commands hang all the rest. Maybe before I start writing down all that "should" be done, I can pause long enough to jot Barry's advice at the top of my list, along with Jesus' summary of what it means.

             "There is always time to do the will of God."           
Love God.
Love my neighbor.