Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Grace

There's a funny little habit that I've had ever since I can remember. 
Or at least as long as I could use my voice. 
Or a record turntable for that matter.

When I discover a song that I love - one to either listen or sing to - I play it over and over and over and over until I eek every last bit of enjoyment from it. 
Every bit of lesson. 
Every bit of vocal prowess.
Then I move on to the next. 

I remember my high school go to's...
Anything from the soundtrack of the movie Yentl.
Tainted Love.  (Hey, stop laughing...the choreography on that one was fierce!)
I almost don't want to mention the theme songs to "WKRP in Cincinnati" & "Alice"...I wasn't sure if I was going to survive my family on those, they were so sick of hearing them.

Now before you call me obsessive compulsive or on the autism spectrum (though I am not ashamed to admit that I must have all of my pillows lined up a certain way or I can't relax..or work...or function...uh oh...), please let me suggest that it may be something different.  I think I am just so overwhelmed by how deeply I am moved, I simply cannot stop listening.  The message, the melody are penetrating to the core.  I need to learn all I can.

I do it still today.
My current song?
"Grace" by singer/songwriter Laura Story.
I am blown away by how intensely personal this song has become to me.

As I was loading and reloading the dishwasher this afternoon, I had my iPod in the speaker system and selected this very song.  (Yes, yes, I listened to it four times total.  Mind your own business.)  The first time through, I heard the following lyrics and my breath caught in my throat, I was so undone at how my inner thoughts were mirrored...

"My heart is so proud.
My mind is so unfocused.
I see the things You do through me as great things I have done."
(emphasis mine)

Oh, how often in my past have I taken credit for those things all Him
All His grace
All His goodness
All His problem solving and intelligence and inspiration for others.

And how horrified I am that I ever did so.

I had the most awesome conversation with my friend, Charlie, the other day about my app development.  Charlie is on his way to becoming an expert in programming and writing code.  He knows SO much and was really concerned that I had all of my T's crossed and I's dotted.  His manner and questions, partly of a financially personal nature ("I have a question for you...how are you going to finance this?  You have to think about that."  Love him...), reminded me of myself at 20.  Authoritative...sure...opinionated...probing.
The difference between us?
He had the most purely beautiful intent. 
He wanted to share his knowledge.
He wanted to be helpful.
He wanted to make sure I was going to be okay. 
I loved every minute of our exchange. 

It made me remember how 20 felt to me. 
No doubts. 
No insecurities. 
No disappointments to tell you "you can't." 
Not enough life experience yet to know that things often don't turn out the way you plan them.
 
Yes, Charlie's intent was pure.  I can't say the same for myself at that age.
I remember relishing being the expert.
Knowing everything. (Not!)
Never hesitating to share what I knew and how I was right.
Never hesitating to accept the accolades when I proved to be (rarely) helpful...or gifted...or insightful.

"I see the things You do through me as great things I have done."
Yes, this was how I behaved.
So blind.
So proud of heart.
So unfocused...on Him.

Thankfully, despite these feelings of mortification, "Grace" helps me resolve these feelings...this shame.

"I ask you how many times will You pick me up when I keep on letting You down? 
And each time I will fall short of Your glory, how far will forgiveness abound?
And You answer, 'My child, I love you.  And as long as you're seeking My face, you'll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace."

Daily sufficient grace?
Daily saving grace.
Daily abundant grace.
Lord, thank You for helping me at 44 (and 45 & 46 & 47 &...) become a reflection of You, in gratitude for all You do through me
Thank You for the reminder that it is never me with all of the answers.
Thank You for focusing my mind on You.
Thank You for taking away every last bit of pride. 
Thank You for Your daily - and bountiful - Grace.

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