"Head back, face up, arms outstretched - reveling in the grace..."
Picture: anonymous child in Portland, reveling
I'm not sure how kosher it is to quote myself, but this was yesterday afternoon's facebook status update, just before Rebekah and I drove down to Sarasota for dinner with my brother and my cousin Marion. Marion is over for a couple of weeks, visiting from England.
"Reveling" is a fairly strong word, and any time I use a word that evocative I have to think about it evaluatively - one of those "A Life Examined" moments. I have to make sure I'm not guilty of using inflationary language. Writers like words, and there's always a danger of employing words we like instead of the correct word. Then, having elevated an experience to the level of a high-value word, the reporting loses credibility.
But, on further evaluation, "reveling in the grace" was an accurate description of my disposition yesterday afternoon. Life, in the ebb and flow that characterizes our experience, is extremely positive right now. My work is enjoyable, my family is happy, our church is in a great place - even the garden looks pretty good.
I don't attribute any of these factors to my skill or merit, to God's special favor focused on me, or to any possible variable that points to my life having any more value at this particular moment than any other moment (including the terribly difficult moments)....
... Instead, I just received what is with "head back, face up, arms outstretched". All I can do sometimes is to simply revel in the grace, say "Thank You", and then continue to live in such a fashion that I am - hopefully - a conduit of such graces to this world.
I don't begin to understand, although I suspect there is more grace available than we typically engage because we do so much and think so much and believe so much that blocks the flow.
Sometimes I get the feeling that I am just beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible when it comes to appreciating this life to its fullest extent. And it's not a matter of figuring out God so that we can "tap" the divine resource and "get" all the blessings we can. I'm inclined to believe the secret goes the other way, inasmuch as we learn to allow God to "tap" us; inasmuch as we are more open to be a blessing to others; inasmuch as we wear the mantle of servant.
The same mantle Jesus wore.
"Jesus then told the crowd and the disciples to come closer, and he said: 'If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross and follow me'."