Before we can get what GRACE is all about, we must explore some things first.
Have you ever wandered off course?
I used to skipper sail boats when I was young. It is so easy to know where you are supposed to go — to be headed in the “right direction” — but over time, unknown to you, you begin to wander off the course you had set. This happens because I lose my attention to what I know I must do. To “wander off” means to know what’s what and where you need to go, but you don’t do it. Then all of a sudden you wake up to the reality you are not where you want to be. But here is the point. While you wander away from the course, there is really nothing that speaks to you and says “Whoa. You are wandering off course.”
OK. As humans with the ability to step aside and look at ourselves and where we are, we often say, “that is what I must be” or “That is what I need to make me happy.” or “that is the path I must follow.” These change from time to time as we experience life. But what happens is that we wander towards those things as if we belong to them; as if they rule our lives.
We wander away from the path toward the God we hunger relationship with towards those gods we make that are easier to see and therefore make us feel good and proud. We bow before them, if you will. Because they work. Or so we think. Before you know it, that deep down hunger seems to disappear. Seems! To disappear.
No. It has just gone underground. We ease God out of our lives bit by bit; self-made god by self-made god. Before you know it, we have wandered far from the path we know we need to be on.
It is very easy to get very lost.