I’ll be honest with you: I was going to skip this week and pick it up next week. I felt like I haven’t put “enough” into it. I felt like there are other things I should be doing.
And then I realized…isn’t that the point of this whole exercise? We come as we are. We give what we can. This is a retreat in everyday life, which means our everyday lives have to be a part of it, and it also means that our everyday lives will influence us.
So, if you started this retreat, like I always do, with both feet firmly in and the enthusiasm of a rabid college football fan, but you find yourself waning now, wondering why you started something so enormous, struggling to keep going…
It’s OK to take a week off as you need it. It’s OK to meander along at your own pace. But please, as one who has been here before, keep going. Really. It’s worth it…in small, immeasurable ways that you may not even recognize until you try it a second time around.
That brings us to God’s mercy, something I’m not so good at understanding. It’s forgiveness without the twang of human interpretation. It’s power without taint; it’s grace without anything held back; it’s just what I always need.
Last week, as I examined my patterns of sin, I nodded a lot. I’ve been making fun of myself all week THIS week, noticing the little habits popping up here and there, just like the dandelions do in my lawn. At first, they seem like no big deal…just mow over em, right? But then, on closer inspection (and digging in the garden), I notice the root system.
My sins are a lot like those dandelions. They don’t seem like a big deal, really. I’m not out killing anyone. I’m not causing world destruction. I’m just muddling through my ordinary life.
But there’s a root system. There are leftovers from those other times. That’s not God’s fault…He has forgiven me, but I haven’t taken the time to dig up all the roots. It’s a lot of work, and sometimes I think I have them all, only to be surprised to see another dandelion sin cropping up.
Mercy is an unjust grace and we are to stand at the foot of the cross in grateful confusion at such an “inhuman” response. Considering what I have done in the past and am likely to do again, here is the crucified Christ, offering me a future of His faithfulness to both my past and days to come.
God’s mercy will heal me – it’s the ultimate weed-killer. If it stings a little, there Daddy’s loving arms are right there, waiting to embrace me, hold me, soothe me.