Our tethers don't define us. They might help us function and make us feel useful. But in God's economy, dislocation is often essential for stepping forward. Losing our grip on yesterday's assumptions and assurances is critical for doing what God wants today.
“Dying to self,” as Jesus commanded, isn't just about letting go of bad habits and self-centered ways; it's also about leaving behind those good things we thought we knew, things we worked hard to attain. It means putting aside old stories in order to claim God's new story.
- Do you need to be in a hurry?
- Do you need to impress those around you?
- Are you dissatisied with ordinary days and gifts of grace?
- Are you preoccupied with all that's left undone?
When our identities are defined by what we do or have, or earn, or strive for, or require in order to impress, we have everything to lose. Maybe this weekend we can work on losing it.
Paul Tillich tells us, "You are accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not seek for anything. Do not perform anything, do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted." If that happens to us, we experience grace.
His words are a reminder that we can live and choose and commit "from acceptance" and not "for acceptance." I'm not doing any of this (Sabbath, prayer, rest, reflection, renewal) to impress anyone or earn stars in my crown in heaven. Life is full. This life. This moment. This relationship. This conversation. This encounter. The sacred present begins here.