There But For The Grace of God, Or….There Go I Again

When I wrote the post Economic Distress and Religion, Rural View (click on it to check it out) back in June 2009, I was doing pretty well. I had finally gotten it all together in life – a good paying job at a nonprofit helping people, strong marriage, wonderful kids, buying a home, financially secure.

I still have wonderful kids, thank God.

And thank God that when I read that post today, when it seems that everything I worked so hard for is slipping away, I can read it and still agree with it, and that I am still proud of what I wrote back then. I was very sympathetic and empathetic to my future self, the me that is me now, even though I didn’t really think it would be me one day. Not this time.

Wonderful kids, I tell myself. I love my wonderful kids.

Back in high school I had to memorize the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling. Although I despise the last line and think it makes all of the powerful things he said before it seem trite, I more and more often find my mind drifting back to that poem as a reminder of how to be strong….

“If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!””

And so I remind myself that I shall not complain today. I will not rehash the losses, will not mourn for the unfairness, will not dwell in the drama that is the consequence for really, truly, expansively living life.

I instead will thank the Lord that he has given me the friends, the community, the church, and the family that He has. I will thank Him for giving me strength when I don’t feel like I have any. I will thank Him that I live with the rural view of life. I will thank Him that I still have tools to build with, worn out though they might seem right now.

What is faith for me? Faith is acting as if what I believe is true, even when I can’t see or feel it.

What do I believe? I believe that the most important of these is love, and that love is one gift that I have in abundance. Even for myself, which is sometimes the hardest person in the world for me to extend that gift to.

Life is bigger. Life is grace. Life is love.

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~ by gypsyjonga on July 25, 2012.

One Response to “There But For The Grace of God, Or….There Go I Again”

  1. Surely a perfect piece of writing! We’ve book marked it and sent it out to all of my friends since I know they’ll be intrigued, thank you very much!

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