This week, I decided to put the CD player on in my car. It’s a 6 disc changer, so I was just listening to whatever was in there. A few of the CDs are old Christian music from when I was in high school. I’ve been singing my heart out, remembering where I was and situations where these songs first touched my heart. It was wonderful. Then one song (Glory of the Blood) came on and I was struck by the word glory.
I got caught up in the word, thinking “wow, I really feel God’s glory right now in my life…even though from the outside looking in, I don’t even deserve it…wait a minute…”
If someone from the Vatican came and surveyed my life, I don’t think I’d measure up very well against the rules/regulations/recommendations of what it means to be a ‘good’ formal Catholic. Which in my long held opinion meant I couldn’t experience or shouldn’t experience God’s glory and grace unless I was upholding all the rules perfectly. But at the heart of things, nothing that I do (or don’t do) could make me actually deserve God’s grace or glory. It comes freely.
And I don’t mean to say that I am changing my mind on religion or rejoicing in sin. I don’t mean to say that those rules/regulations aren’t set for a purpose and for the ultimate attainment of grace. I don’t mean to say that we should just live however we want without consequence. What I think I mean to say is this:
Even though I don’t measure up to perfection, I can still experience the glory around me, through God’s creation, through the blessings in my life, through friendships and experiences that come and go. Grace and glory are a free gift. I can still experience grace in moments of beauty that surround me. The hills and valleys are both important times and there is beauty and struggles in both. I look forward to every beautiful stop along this trek back to the hilltop. I think the fullness of glory and grace are found at the top of the hills, in the true ‘state of grace’ as the Church refers to it, but they still exist as free gift to those of us on the climb.