Friday, April 18, 2008


...but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.
Romans 5:20

Several years ago I had a series of, well, driving incidents. I got three tickets, a fender bender, and totaled my Explorer in a fight with a tractor trailer all in the same year. The tickets were bull (at least two of them, really) and the big wreck wasn't my fault, but my insurance company called and I had to have a meeting with my agent. It wasn't a big deal, he just informed me that if I had any more incidents they would drop my coverage. He said he didn't think I had a problem but they wanted to make sure before those small incidents turned into something more destructive. It wasn't the individual instances they were worried about, it was the pattern.

I'm afraid I'm having the same problem again. I don't think I'm making really bad decisions right now, but I know I've made a lot of kinda bad decisions. A couple days ago I lost my head a little. I had a really bad day at work and when I got home my daughter screamed at me for a good 45 minutes. The thing that really set me off was my wife's suggestion that I let her calm my daughter down. The thing that pissed me off about it was that I knew it would work. I knew that I was pretty well at the end of my rope and I knew that my seven month old daughter could tell. My wife suggested I go for a drive, it always calms me down, and I decided to slam doors and throw things on my way out. These little drives of mine always have two things in common, I go towards the mountains and my Ipod is on shuffle. I do the latter because God always seems to play the song I need to hear (I need a "God is my DJ" bumper sticker). That night it was the sweater song, that's right, Undone by Weezer. God tends to get to me in weird ways, at least it wasn't George Michael.

Watch me unravel, I'll soon be naked. Lying of the floor, I've come undone
. I kept thinking about the way Satan takes my smallest imperfections and hangs them out there for me to mess with. And I how I can't help but pull at them. A lingering thought - a loss of temper - a slip of the tongue. Each pull is so small that I barely notice. Its a slow process until I'm suddenly undone - completely exposed.

I love that in that place God always shows me something. Lately its been unpleasant things about myself, but Tuesday was different. This is what he showed me: I found myself stopped on foothills parkway staring at one of the most breath taking sunsets I've ever seen (I took the picture with my phone). God chose to remind me that he is beautiful. Where there is pain He brings beauty. Where there is sorrow He provides comfort. Where there is rebellion He offers forgiveness. Where there was debt He provided justification. In despair He is hope. When I am stained by sin He washes me in grace.

Right now God is constantly reminding me to be mindful of the choices I make. Tonight I'm reminded to be careful of what I choose to see. I really have a hard time understanding why I choose to see the bad. Why can't I see the future in the face of my screaming child? In my house I see clutter where there is abundance. At work I see stress instead of provision. I see immaturity instead of youth. Age instead of wisdom. I see the world where I should see creation.

I'm sure by now its obvious that I don't know where I'm going with this or how to end it. I guess I just wanted to say that in every moment we have a choice. My hope is that I choose life. And I'm thankful that when I don't grace abounds.

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