Grace is on my mind again. Not the woman, though that would be nice too, but the spiritual kind. What I most want is the grace to fully accept and trust myself. To believe in God and a world of good. What’s on your mind for the holidays?
According to Richard Paul Evans in his book The Christmas List, “The true meaning of Christmas? God’s grace. And the understanding that we cannot earn grace any more than we can bargain for love. By it’s very nature, grace must be unearned and freely given, without cost, constraint, or commandment. The best that we can do is to open our hearts to receive it wholly, with all our strength, desire, and intent, that we might become children of the Gift. Anyway, that’s what I think Christmas is about. But what do I know, I’m just a carpenter. ”
Previously I had blogged that grace was a blend of gift and how we live our life. To receive the kind of grace that Paul Evans is talking about requires openness and faith. Does this mean faith must come before grace? I think so. It seems that faith opens many doors, the magic key if you will. I have always admired people who have strong faith in God, Jesus, Buddha, or even themselves. My lot in life seems to be that of doubting Thomas. I question everything. And the more I read and learn, the less I “know” anything! Anything seems possible, but nothing is for sure.
Faith is very elusive for one who lives largely from the intellect as I do. I even “know” that faith is related to living more from the heart. But how to do this is very elusive, at least for me. The magic key for me is how to integrate mind and heart to become one fully functioning system, not two disjoint parts or even outright opponents in the game of life.
The truth is that I’ve made great progress. Some days I trust life, myself and goodness. Even God. Just last week, I had a moment of grace where I surrendered to my reduced financial state, trusting that I will be OK. Life goes on and so will I with a few less dollars in the bank.
Another illusive point is to know when to accept versus when to take action. Most would say acceptance is first, then action may or may not be necessary. In the meantime, I’m relaxing into my life, doing the best I can to accept who and where I am in life.
Feel free to share your tips on living from faith and grace.
Blessings to you and yours for the Holidays.