I feel apologetic for not writing awhile now, but I know I don’t owe you an apology. “Performance” drives westerners doesn’t it? Even when it’s a solo track and field runner that individual is driven against his or her own personal records. God’s love turns that philosophy on its head, and we spend a lifetime never really leaning into it.

You have a blog, so you’re supposed to write. Shoulding all over yourself never works. Letting go of all the shoulds in life is the beginning of success. I’d like to do a study of the word success. We encourage our children to be responsible and work hard, and that’s a good thing to do, but in the same breath we fail in helping them rest in the arms of the Savior who loves them unconditionally. Like most things in life paradox shows up, and like most human beings we are terrible at balancing those competing thoughts.

I started learning Spanish during this pandemic, and I got behind. My anxiety got the best of me, and I skipped class last week. I’m determined to show up to class tonight, and I feel much better about where I am in regard to my language progress. I’m not as behind as I thought, and the amount of material I have in my mind is more than I thought. We usually think things are worse than they really are, but then we can ignore things to our own peril. Paradox. Moment by moment we are “challenged” with this kind of existential question.

As a Christian I use my relationship with the Father to combat this kind of thinking because it doesn’t originate from a loving Father. Does He want me to put effort into developing a deeper relationship with Him? Of course. He’s not keeping tabs on my church attendance, morning devos or homeless people I feed. Faith without works is dead, and I believe that with my whole heart, but if I die on the way to feed the homeless I’m not going to hell. Grace teaches me to say no to ungodliness (Titus 2), but it doesn’t demand I cross every t and dot every i.

I hope if you are struggling with this same thing you will lean into the arms of the Father who really does love us unconditionally. That’s going to look different for you then it does for me, but we are privileged to be part of that incredible reality.

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