If it was, I’d be doomed.
If this life is about religion, I’d be zonked, smothered, shriveled, beat up, dried out, and downcast. If yesterday was about measuring up and looking good and doing right, I failed.
I thought a run would cure my sour rhythm, but right before I left I opted for the rollerblades. I wanted to feel the wind faster in my face, I guess. Halfway around Gray’s Lake, after picking up speed on the perfect slope, a very large and very deep pool of water stretched over the path. I made a last minute decision to go off-roading on the grass, which ended as quickly as it started – with me on my back.
I jumped up and blade ran (sideways with arms pumping) across the rest of the grass until the path was clear. I’m not really sure why I did this because blade running is not a thing. No one runs on rollerblades in the grass.
But when I picked up speed again on the other side of that pool of water, I thought about a conversation I had with a colleague recently. She said, “Yeah, I just get sick of some Christians in my life saying they want to do more Christian stuff. I’m like, ‘Why don’t you just stop talking about it and live it?’ I mean, I’m not much into religion, but I do it 40 hours a week. It’s my job.”
This colleague is my favorite, but I couldn’t make any sense of her statements. I think she was saying that she does what Christians talk about every work week – it’s her day job. Apparently, there are “Christians” in her life who have less humanitarian jobs and they feel guilty about their efforts to better humanity. She’s not a fan of religion, but she does it pretty well anyway.
In any case, I was thinking about this conversation when I was rollerblading (faster now to escape the humiliation of my fall) when night was settling on the city.
And I knew that every doomed day would stay doomed if it was about religion. Even if we all worked in the social services field all day, every day… even if we helped a thousand zillion people because of our efforts… even then we would be doomed if it was about religion.
THIS IS LOVE.
Christ breaks through every day that we fail to “do religion” perfectly (and that’s every day). He sets us free from human measurements and standards. He invites us to dance unashamed because our freedom was purchased by His love.
In every way we fall short, His grace extends far enough.
Can you feel it? It’s like rain, this love. It falls on the mighty and the weak, the smart and the simple, the famous and the obscure. His love falls on those who wrestle in doubt, cower in fear, and push back in anger. It’s like a downpour, this love.
His love accepts our incomplete efforts because the only measurement is Christ. He accomplished everything so I could accomplish anything at all.
Thursday is a good day to get soaked.