Two for the Road

Driving is a source of great pleasure to me.  I know I’m not alone.

Although I much prefer to be. Alone. In my car.

My thoughts can breath. Aspirations and inspirations and exultation’s stop getting all mixed up. Moments of clarity become stretches.

How many times have you had a conversation with a parent of kids under 21 who exclaimed, “And, I got to drive for twenty whole minutes, ALL BY MYSELF!”?  How many times?  Maybe it was you who uttered that very thing just this week?

One of the most precious get-away moments comes as I press play on a song that mama wants to hear. Can I get an amen?

Here are two of my favorites. I’d like to share the music, of course. But, I’d also like to share the why, because I like each one for radically different reasons.

If you’ve never heard the words “amazing” and “grace”, together, about a song, then I ask you, where have you been living for the last 235 years?

There is a version of this song that has undone me more times than I care to count. Amazing Grace, (My Chains Are Gone) was the song I first sang upon realizing the extent of my deep need for True Grace to swoop down and save me. It was later the song that ushered in a realization that addiction was part of my DNA. It is The Song that reminds me, again and again, that my chains are exactly that – mine. I’ve truly been set free.

And Grace reminds me that it doesn’t matter what I chain myself to – or how many times I attempt to chain myself to anything other than the God who made me – He. Will. Find. Me.

And set me free.

While I won’t apologize for my taste in music (it is, after all, thinking in sounds), I will say that some things just appeal to my inner need for a beat.  When I first heard “Letting Go”, by Bethel Music, I was on the verge of making some rotten decisions.  The moment the words “you’ve brought me to the end of myself”, I knew.

I knew that Grace would meet me there. At the end of myself.

And He did.

And does.

What tunes go on the road with you? Share please!

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This post is day 2 of the #write31days over at The Nester’s website.

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Wrecked Up Good

Once upon a time, there was a teenage driver.  She was eager to master these newly acquired driving skills so that she could have more freedom. And independence.  Because those things were important to her.

Day after day, she followed the rules, stayed within the lines, and was careful not to gun it as she noticed the red lights turn to glorious green. She heeded all of her mother’s (completely panicked) warnings to “SLOW DOWN!”. Her longing for the ability to drive around unhindered only grew with each practice run she had to make as she drove her father to work.  She patiently endured every foot mash as her parents frantically stepped down in hopes that the brakes had magically transferred to the right side of the car.

And all of these things she would bear, while she continued to do what needed to be done correctly.

And then, the day finally arrived! All of the earnest practice and fervent desire paid off as that teenager earned her driver’s license.

She drove carefully, at first, appreciative of the gift her license provided her to drive around alone.

With each new month on the road though, her bravery grew.  She tried new routes.  Every errand run for a parent took a little longer than necessary.  She offered to drive her friends everywhere, when her friends couldn’t drive themselves.

She became confident in her skills.

So, she began taking some risks to test out the limitations of this new ability. She rolled through a stop sign.  Then she took a right turn on red.

Until…

The night she came home thirty minutes past curfew. Those minutes felt like hours. No, days!  The Captain would be disappointed in her.  She hated the shame disappointment would bring. So she drove faster to get down the street quicker.

She was almost there. Six more houses. Four more houses. Two…

And suddenly, trash cans appeared out of nowhere; metal trash bins, to boot. She swerved, but too late. Those barrels were wrecked up somethin’ awful.  As was the car’s fender.

But her heart? Her confidence in her ability?

They were wrecked up good.

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She walked in the door and came nose to nose with the Face of Disappointment, Himself.

Only, it was concern in his voice.  Not disappointment.

“Are you alright?”

“Yes sir.”

“Did you hurt the trash cans?”

“Yes sir.”

“But you’re alright.”

“Yes, dad.”

“Then I think you’ve learned your lesson.”

Grace. 

       Even then.

I didn’t realize it then, but I do now.  And I didn’t see, then, how desperately I was seeking to get my “good enough” outside of God’s approval of me.

In “A Confident Heart”, by Renee Swope, she speaks to this.

“Trying to get our “good enough” outside of God’s promises and provision will always create insecurity and obstruct our relationship with Him and with other people.”

Oh, what truth.

I didn’t see it then.

I do now.

And, much like the trash cans that I watch for closely, even to this day, I am on the lookout for God’ approval.  I feel like, lately, I have hit a few proverbial trash cans. It’s been good for my heart. It reminds me that I’m not paying attention to the Love I already have.

He loves me whether I’m wrecked up good or only a little.

Oh, yes indeedy.

And I am so grateful.

How’s your heart?  Do you need to be reminded that His Grace makes you good enough already?

Today, I am linking up again with the community over at Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Online Bible Study.  We meet together, daily,  to discuss “A Confident Heart” by Renee Swope.  Click the button below to see what other heart confidence is growing as we study together.

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