The other day I had a chance to share a bit of my “how in the world did you end up in Louisiana” story with someone who didn’t really know much about my history. To be honest, I hadn’t really thought about it much myself in a while, and retelling the story stirred up the nostalgia a little bit.
So I went searching for some of my old blog posts yesterday & today — some of my original Recovering Pentecostal posts from 2007. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 7 years now since I read a book that led to an eye-opening conversation that radically changed the way I saw God and my relationship with Him.
Re-reading those posts and sifting through many others through the years reminded me of how much had happened since then, and how much I’ve changed. I’ve come a long way… literally and figuratively. That pivotal moment in 2007 was amazing. It was freeing. And I’m so much better because of it. But one thing that I’m realizing from my walk down memory lane is that I’ve gone off course.
I’ve got to get back to grace. It’s been seven years since I first began to understand grace, but somehow I’ve allowed legalism creep back in. It’s an insidious thing! This time, it’s not an overt in the form of rules and regulations that I must obey to remain “in the fold.” It’s not an official, institutional thing. This time, it’s personal. I’ve let expectations (coming from myself and others) become obligations in my mind. And the stress of not being able to live up to those expectations is too much. You can kinda do it, at least for a little while, like plate spinning. But it’s a lot of work to keep all those plates spinning at the same time… and you wind up living in fear that the plates will stop spinning and fall… until you fail.
God never intended for us to live under that kind of pressure. It wasn’t His intention that we maintain our walk of faith by our own power.
“How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” (Gal 3:3 NLT)
I started seven years ago in grace. But I’ve wandered back into human effort. Maybe it’s time to start over… again… leaning on the security of grace and letting the plates fall wherever they may.