Dear Abby: What if?
When you started asking “What if” questions on the eve of kindergarten, I knew you’d be a worrier.
What if I get sent to the principal’s office?
What if I’m late?
What if I’m bad?
I want you to know about the desperate zone. The desperate zone is where you suffer a stifling sense of guilt, fear, and or anxiety throughout your day that you should be somewhere else, doing something else, and never settling into the present grace.
I find myself there, Abby, washing dishes and thinking about how I need to be exercising, exercising and thinking about how I need to be organizing, reading and thinking about how I need to be vacuuming.
The desperate zone is not a decent place for anyone, but it’s a really pathetic place for blood-bought believers. Christ didn’t set us free to fret. Grace was costly. Costly enough to purchase a little freedom for your day.
I hope that you learn this sooner than me, that you’re free to live your day any creative way you choose. Dance your way right out of the desperate zone, that constricting place where you’re doing everything out of fear and nothing out of faith.
Don’t believe for one minute that believing is cheap and easy, Abby. Believing is hard work, and like all things in life, that which is hardest is often most worth pursuing. If grace doesn’t touch your everyday working life, then it’s not true grace after all, but merely a cheap Sunday substitute, like Splenda for sugar. Similar but not the real deal.
Real grace sets you free, sweetens your day, and tethers you to your chores with the light yoke of servant’s joy.
Fulfill your duties, do the work, but don’t let the work worry you. Abound in the work of the Lord knowing that your toil is not in vain.
Free indeed, my girl. That you are.