I don’t know sometimes, whether it’s a good or a bad thing that each day is a new day. That, in some respect, every new day is a clean slate, a fresh start. On the one the hand, yes, it’s great that we can, if we want to, wake up each day with the confidence of new opportunities before us, that we don’t have to carry all the burdens of yesterday into tomorrow. On the other hand… well, sometimes I wish I was making more progress.
You see, it’s this quote that really gets me.
“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.” - C.S. Lewis
I know it’s true. It’s one of those quotes that gets you from the first read. So succinct, so perfectly formed, you can’t help but nod your head. And, at the same time, kick the dirt a little. Because you know it’s true, and you really wish you didn’t.
You’d think after everything, not just the past few months or few years, just in the past 2 weeks, I would have figured it out. The providence, all of the last minute saves, the sheer miraculous timing. You think that would have convinced me that I didn’t really have to do much but show up and God was going to take care of the rest.
But no. Not quite. Despite everything, I still find myself trying to work out the scenarios. I still find myself worrying that it won’t work. There’s still a part of me expecting a knock on the door to tell me it was all a mistake, and, no, I don’t really belong here.
You’d think I’d learn. You’d think I’d have enough examples. But no. Not quite.
I don’t know for sure, but something tells me I’m not the only one. Anxiety and depression would like me to think it’s just me, that when everyone else is given a miracle, they don’t question it, and instead dive headlong into the next challenge with all the confidence in the world. But I don’t think it’s just me.
And I’m starting to wonder if it’s just a part of the equation. Because my natural bent would be to say I need more faith, that if I truly believed I wouldn’t doubt. And while I do believe that’s the end goal, for all of us to trust God well enough that we could be asked to do anything, set any challenge, and we would step into it with the peace that comes from the full knowledge that, whatever outcome, we are doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing, no more no less.
But that’s an end goal, and we’re not there yet. At least, I’m not. And I think that’s okay. After all, who would God be if he wasn’t okay with our middle steps? If everything is about transition, about waiting through change, then that means waiting while things aren’t quite there yet, while we aren’t quite there yet. In fact, we know that if we can’t wait, then we’ll never get there. If we cannot tolerate the middle steps in the journey we will never reach our destination. We’ll never move at all, constantly wishing we were already there, without having to move.
And so, I’m not there yet. I still wake up most days with this little doubt that sometimes isn’t so little. I still try to control the situation after it has been more than illustrated that it is not under my control and that’s how it’s supposed to be. I still make a grab for the thing I only just surrendered to God.
Every day I have to start over again on a lot of this. And that’s okay. We’re told that’s okay. That’s the process, after all. And there is grace. As unbelievable as that is sometimes. I’m allowed to wake up and doubt it all, to wonder if God is going to show up even after he does, to ask, for the millionth time, “Here? Now? Really?” And to try again.
I think grace, no matter how much we talk about it, will always feel too-good-to-be-true. And there are two responses to that: we can make grace out to be less than what it is, or we can accept that we won’t understand it. But we really don’t have to. It’s still there.
And maybe one day, we won’t have to start all over. Maybe each day we aren’t really starting from zero, but slowly, little by little, building up and up. Maybe that’s just how growth happens.
By showing up and trying. Again and again and again.