Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Check please!"

I'm reading "Velvet Elvis" by Rob Bell (my book of the week) and have been somewhat blown away by his very different way of seeing the world and faith. Very refreshing read.

One of his chapters was on the subject of grace and how difficult we find it to just accept that our sins have been paid for and that we don't need to think of ourselves as sinners anymore. He tells a personal story to illustrate:

I was having breakfast with my Dad and my younger son at the real food cafe on Eastern Avenue, just south of Alger in Grand Rapids. We were finishing our meal when I noticed that the waitress brought our check and then took it away and then brought it back again. She placed it on the table, smiled, and said, "Somebody in the restaurant payed for your meal. You're all set." And then she walked away.

I had the strangest feeling sitting there. The feeling was helplessness. There was nothing I could do. It had been taken care of. To insist on paying would have been pointless. All I could do was trust that what she said was true was actually true and then live in that. Which meant getting up and leaving the restaurant.

My acceptance of what she said gave me a choice: to live like it was true or to create my own reality in which the bill was not paid.
This is our invitation. To trust that we don't owe anything. To trust that something is already true about us, something has already been done, something has been there all along.

To trust that grace pays the bill.

How often I find myself not trusting that God has truly paid my "bill." And even when I do I struggle to know how to react to such knowledge. I want to accept the gift of grace and then live in it daily, getting up and living in grace instead of worrying that I still have something I need to do to earn God's grace. It's an easy mental trap to fall in.


Joel said...

I couldn’t agree more on your comment on the book being a "very refreshing read". I read it years ago and loved it. I'm interested to hear after you've finished the book what you think of him, as some people in the Christian community have labeled him a heretic.

Anonymous said...

That makes me think of that story you guys told when you were on your honeymoon and that couple paid for you. Sorry to not take it any deeper. :S

Anonymous said...

Ok, that was Jacquie...

TammyIsBlessed said...

Here's a book recommendation for you...

Left to Tell: Immaculee Ilibagiza and the Rwandan Genocide