Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Great (07/06/06)
- TITLE: OUR MANIFEST DESTINY
By Marilee Alvey
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Are you “under great,” or “under grace”? If you are “under” great you are destined to always fall UNDER your goal, not only because few reach these lofty goals of greatness, but because the very nature of wishing to excel produces a drive much like that found in an anorexic. Although they are thin, they have lost sight of it and continue to press toward doing “better.” Those pursuing “great” are never sure when they can relax. They never know how much is enough. In contrast, “under” grace is like being UNDER an umbrella. You are covered and protected. “Under grace” you know that you cannot reach any nebulous nirvana and have reached out for help. God extends to you his umbrella which will allow you to meet your goal through the efforts of Jesus, for you are covered in his blood and, as such, are a child of God. God looks at you and sees his Son.
In this life, we have two choices to make: a life of great or a life of grace. In our society today, everyone seeks recognition. It is a basic need. However, thanks in large part to media’s mindset, we fall into the trap of wanting more, more, more. We want to be important. We want to be famous. We want reserved seats, tables, and all the trappings that recognition can buy. We buy bumper stickers celebrating our accomplishments and post them on our vehicles. There are actually people who, when they fall short, do something drastic, like become a serial killer or a mass murderer just to get that attention for a few fleeting moments. Oh, how we yearn for our fifteen minutes of fame.
Yes, most of us under this “life of great” system will never measure up. We are doomed to fall short of the mark. Earthly recognition, saluting excellence, by its very definition, comes sparingly. We live lives of frustration, honking our horns in desperation, filled with road rage as we traverse the highway God has laid out for us. We can never do enough or be enough. Our attempts on the road will send us to nondescript roadhouses as we journey, seeing the five star hotels in the distance, yet never able to check in. We strain to hear earthly praise which comes seldom, if at all. We traverse the great expanse of our lives, seeking to be stars, yet burn out like sad, desperate comets, yearning for some hang time in the velvet sky of Earthly achievement.
It is time to make the switch from the “life of great” to the “life of grace.” God attributes to us the recognition that we are holy, that we are like His Son. We can’t measure up, so he graciously gives it to us, anyway. We need only ask. We are children of the King and are perfect in our Father’s eyes, covered with the blood of Jesus. We take our perch in the vast expanse willingly, knowingly awaiting the final revelation of our true identity.
Until we change paths we will feel the discontent of the ages. All of creation groans awaiting our Savior’s return. Our useless efforts at earthly accomplishments will join the collective sighs of generations of frustrated masses. We can join the suicidal, the desperate, the depressed, or we can join the peaceful, the grateful, the content. Christianity: balm of the masses? Perhaps in this earthly arena….. Only wait. Expectantly. Choose grace, not great, and it will make all the difference.
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