in the mess

I listened to a few podcasts Sunday morning from The God Journey. I’ve missed a couple months of regular listening so I’m trying to catch up.

The podcasts I listened to were No Longer a TACL* and The Performance Trap. Both very good. I learned in the first podcast that TACL stands for Tight Assed Church Lady. A woman that one of the hosts of The God Journey met in his travels declared to her grown kids that she was “done being the tight-assed church lady” and she proceeded to live that way and it impacted her family positively. I like the visual.

The second podcast was absolutely brilliant and I took a lot of away from the discussion. I really recommend it – there was so much good stuff in it and a lot of it struck home with me.

“Religion puts God ouside of our struggle and pain…He’s not waiting for us to get out of the mess ourselves…God has the heart of a rescuer…He’s not surprised by anything.”

Basically, God wants to be invited into our pain, our mess, whatever we’re dealing with, and He wants to help us through it. We don’t have to go it alone. We don’t have to live up to some impossible standard in order for God to grace us with His presence. We don’t have to have it together to stand in front of Him. 

He takes us as we are, wraps us in his love and grace, and replenishes our hope. He helps us endure, helps us put one foot in front of the other, guiding us to walk and eventually run with Him in the adventure of life.

Many of us miss out on this kind of relationship with God because we’re so busy trying to live up to the do’s and don’ts of organized Christianity. We cling to a dogma that warps the Message into a hard master, demanding performance and perfection for salvation. But it falls short. It isn’t able to deliver on the carrot that it dangles in front of us.

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