Monday, February 20, 2012
"If you keep your homiletical mind on, you will find something every day that will preach." - Rev. Dr. Eugene Gibson
The Rev. Dr. Eugene Gibson was one of my preaching professors in seminary. He pushed me, a lot. At the time I'm not sure I really appreciated it, but I'm a better preacher for being in his class.
Now, that being said, here's what hit me this morning, and I'm going to give props to Doc Gibson for helping me keep my eyes open when these moments happen.
This morning, I got up just like I do every morning, stumbled to the kitchen, kept my eyes closed while I turned on the light, cracked one eye just enough to see the "power" button on my coffee maker, tripped over the cat, and started my day. Coffee...check. Cat fed...check. Breakfast started...check. I do this every morning, and enjoy spoiling my girls by making sure they have a hot breakfast every day before they go to school.
After breakfast was finished, I sat down with my second cup of coffee, checked my email, hit my facebook page to see who might benefit from a dose of sarcasm a'la Lee, and while the girls were getting ready I felt the need to play just one game of Spider Solitaire until it was time to start pushing them out the door.
The cards were dealt, the first moves were made, and then after making one move I realized it was not the best move I could have made, so I hit the drop down menu, clicked "undo" and it was gone...that's when I saw it.
The "it" was sitting beside "undo" on my screen...just a few letters, not even a real word, but there it was..."ctrl Z." It does the same thing as clicking "undo." Now, if you're a spider solitaire officianado, you already knew that. I had never noticed it before. Two little keys on the keyboard, conveniently close together, and all you have to do is push those two buttons together and your last mistake is gone. Pretty cool, eh?
Wouldn't it rock, if in life we could do the same thing? Now, I may be speaking for myself, but I have some things in my life that I would love to see disappear like a poorly planned card move. I've made bad decisions. I've hurt folks. I've wasted opportunities. Knowing there was something I could do to undo those things would rock. Unfortunately, it's not that simple.
Enter grace. God's "ctrl Z" plan. Well, ok, so it doesn't actually undo the mistakes, but it provides a way to healing. The fact is that every decision we make bears certain consequences, and though grace leads to forgiveness and healing, the pain that our actions or inactions might have caused remains. It then comes to us to go to those we have hurt, acknowledge our mistake, and ask for forgiveness, even if that one is the Creator God.
The beauty of the "ctrl Z" on the card game is that the mistake was undone, which allowed me to stop, take a look at what I was doing, regroup, and try again...BUT...it still cost me a point. However, it was a chance to begin again...and that's a good thing.
So, the next time you say these words...
"Merciful God, we confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart. We have failed to be an obedient church. We have not done your will, we have broken your law, we have rebelled against your love, we have not loved our neighbors, and we have not heard the cry of the needy. Forgive us, we pray. Free us for joyful obedience, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen"
...and then hear these words...
"Hear the good news: Christ died for us while we were yet sinners; that proves God's love for us. In the name of Christ, you are forgiven!"
...you have just experienced "ctrl Z."
May you experience God's grace today, tomorrow, and always.
And Doc Gibson...Thanks, Bro.