Thankful Thursday / Episode 7

"But wait," you say, "It's not Thursday anymore. Today is Friday." To this I answer, "I know, I missed Thursday this week. I was too busy with life to stop and sit down in front of the computer." But when I realized this morning that I had TOTALLY missed Thursday AGAIN, I was inspired. Suddenly I realized what it is I’m thankful for today (or yesterday ~ if you're going to be all technical about it). Stick with me here on this windy path; I’m hoping this will all tie together... because it really does in my mind.

Yesterday I had to "fire" a volunteer. This, when you think about it, is kind of a strange concept. I mean, it's bizarre to think that I actually had to tell someone who was offering her time at no cost to my organization that her services were no longer appreciated or required. To my knowledge, it is only the 2nd time in our 24 year history that it has ever happened. I can't say it was a fun thing to have to do. But I can say that it is something that I knew was coming since March of last year. So, now that it's done I feel some relief. The problem boiled down to this, she was passing along her own misconception to our clients. And that misconception has led to our clients feeling judged, accused and bullied. To simplify, the message she was sending (in the name of Christ) was, "When you're 'Good', you're loved and accepted. When you're 'Bad', you're destined for eternal hellfire." Can I just tell you that in addition to being totally untrue, that message is a PR nightmare - which is a whole other post.

But, to her credit, I think this is a common misconception of those outside the Christian faith (and apparently some believers too). So many people misunderstand Christianity as a complicated and all encompassing set of rules to live by. For years, one of the things that kept me away from the Church was the misconception that my sins disqualified me from membership. It wasn't until I realized how upside down that thinking was that Christianity became palatable. When I figured out that EVERYONE inside church walls were just as jacked up and sinful as I was (am) and the admission price for membership wasn't to straighten up and fly right, Christianity was so much more intriguing. To me, the best part is that because of Christ I’m loved just as I am, and loved too much to allow me to remain that way. It’s a process, man. It’s a relationship where I am continually growing. And thank goodness, because deep down I really am a mess. But in the end it doesn't matter, I’m loved anyway. I don't have to be "good" all the time. I don't have to follow all the rules to a "t" to earn acceptance. My salvation and the love I receive from my Heavenly Father aren’t based solely on my behavior but on Christ’s death and resurrection. Do you know how freeing that is? Do you know how super cool that is????? But I guess it makes me so sad for people who are living their lives for conditional love and acceptance from God. To me it seems like such a heavy, uncomfortable and dissatisfying burden to carry. To try and try and try just seems so exhausting to a less-than-perfect person like me. I guess if you've got this whole life thing down, it wouldn't be so hard. But since I don't, I’m super glad I’m not responsible for earning it.

Episode 7: "Today I am thankful for...perspective and grace."

Is any of this making sense? Let me try to bring it back around. This morning, as I realized that I forgot to post my Thankful Thursday... I got all rules oriented. Like, "I’m being irresponsible and unorganized" or "I’m not living up to my promises." And then I thought about the whole, "When you're 'bad', you're destined for eternal hellfire" nonsense and I relaxed. I messed up. Life happens, and I’m not "less than" because I goofed up. It wasn't the first time, and I can promise you it won't be the last. And at the risk of coming off as glib, this inconsequential mis-step (just like all my actual sin yesterday) isn't damning me to eternal hellfire. Which really is a load off my shoulders since life is tough enough without having to worry about that headache.


Paula said...

I'm not really sure what to say to this post, except that it is inspiring and excellent. I'm thankful 1) that you wrote it, 2)that I noticed this blog address on your FB page, and 3) that I read it.

Unknown said...

Very insightful Molly. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

Dontmissyoursunsetlady said...

I wish you were still there so you could fire another one lol!