Over at the BHT, Jim Nicholson posted this as he marked his 46th birthday...
For all my life, I believed that the message of the gospel was this: God loves us so much that he will let us go our own way, walk away from his will, and make a mess out of our lives, and when we hit the bottom and have no place else to turn, he will come to us and bring us back to himself. And all of that is true, all of that is in the gospel that Jesus proclaimed to us.
But now I realize that the gospel is something far more mysterious, something far more disturbing, something far more difficult to accept, because the message of the gospel is also this: God loves us so much that he will let us try to walk in his ways, let us do the right things and be the right people, and our lives will still end up a mess. And when we reach the place where we realize just how useless our efforts to be righteous and pure and good are, and how God has absolutely no use for them, he will come to us and bring us back to himself.
I am convinced that God is as weary of our efforts to be fine, upstanding, moral people as we (if we are honest with ourselves) are. And I’ve reached a place where I’m no longer willing to make those efforts any longer. I’m tired of trying to do what God has already done for me. I’m tired of moving toward Someone I can never reach, especially when he is already standing right next to me all the time.
Posted by: Jim Nicholson