Something you may not know about me is that I am my own worst critic. Rarely does a day go by when I don't look at least one particular thing in that day and regret not doing it better, or one interaction that day and wonder why I didn't approach it differently because I know I hurt someone one in ways I never imagined, much less intended. 

The other day, Kathy mentioned to me that I seemed out of sorts and wondered what was on my mind. Honestly, I answered her that I couldn't really put it into words at that point, but I knew she was right. Usually when these times strike, I refer to it as, "Getting lost in my head for a little while."

As I was driving to the Heart Hospital in Lacombe this morning to pray with someone before surgery, I continued processing this and several other conversations/interactions from the past week or so in hopes of moving past this 'funk.' It was as I got back to the office a little after 7:00 this morning that some very familiar words from Steven Tyler & Aerosmith meandered through my head:

There's somethin' wrong with the world today
I don't know what it is
Something's wrong with our eyes
We're seein' things in a different way
And God knows it ain't his
It shore ain't no surprise

Yes, indeed. Something is wrong with my eyes. I have been seeing things in a different way, and God (& I) know it ain't [sorry, mom, Amy, & Jason] his.

However, what I have not being seeing in God's way that is most damaging right now is that in my quest for perfectionism I have failed to realize that part of seeing things in God's way is to allow myself to receive and respond to God's grace.

While accountability is good, and we should seek to make right whatever we can (as well as afford others the grace to make things right when they hurt us,) we must not take our pursuit of perfectionism so far that it pushes us to the point of paralysis. To be clear, I am not saying God doesn't want us to attempt to do everything to the very best of our abilities. What I am saying, though, is, we must be people who are, by Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, made strong enough in our faith to:

  • Accept God's grace in the midst of our failures;

  • Extend God's grace in the midst of the failures of others;

  • Allow God to heal us when we our ownership of our failures starts to cripple us and our relationships with those around us;

  • Trust that as God does the divine work of saving and purifying us our focus must never stray from redemption;

  • Love God with all that we have and love our neighbors.

For those who may not know, the words quoted above come from a song titled, "Livin' on the Edge." (That title is worth a column or a sermon on it's own.) As for me - I firmly believe that while we can talk about living metaphorically on the edge, you and I, and everyone else in all creation, are called to realize that we live enveloped in the love of God through Christ by the power of the Spirit. We are called not only to be enveloped in that love but also to envelop others in it as well.

I invite you to join me and my worst critic in pondering these truths in order that we might be able to be lifted beyond ourselves and our circumstances and into a life of grace, peace, hope, and love found in Christ our Lord.

It might 'shore be a surprise' to see what happens.

Grace and Peace, Lamar