Friday, January 4, 2013

Being over the limit

A friend told me today about his mom who always said to him, "Don't speed when you drive, or God will withhold His care for you."

Okay ...what kind of theology is that?

If I have to be good - on the dot perfect - careful at all times - not 'over the limit' - for God to be a positive force in my life, to be a Presence of care and goodness, well, then, I am pretty much pooched.

I am over the limit in so many places in my life. 
I try to contain myself, but I escape.

Yes, I do speed. Occasionally. But in lots of other ways. Today at lunch for instance, a woman friend and I BOTH ate a full dessert. After we ate a full lunch. I ate a piece of Carrot Cake that was obscene. I feel quite awful right now sitting here. But that is just the least of my problems.

I am over the limit in what I want. I've always wanted too much. I am over the limit in what I give away sometimes - I give away what I should protect and keep gently. I am over the limit when my anger flares up, and you don't know anything about my covetousness - sometimes I just want another life, someone else's life. (Don't get all righteous on me here... don't start lecturing me on how we don't know the pain in other people's lives. I know all that. I am just saying, I am over the limit at times, and I know it.) I sometimes go over the limit by staying under the limit - I skip things I should do, I give too little love, I get petty. And I am keeping a whole bunch of things private...none of your business!

What is this limit thing, anyway? Is it a line? Or an invisible box around our lives that sends a signal to God when we bust past? Kind of like an ankle bracelet to let the police know we've left the building.

Nope. I am happy to report, there is no limit. There is no speed limit and no slow limit. If there is a line of limits in your life you created it ... or adopted it from someone else's bondage.

Such broken ideas keep us from experiencing God's love. Instead of consciously cooperating with love, we try to consciously cooperate with obligations and laws and end up feeling fully rejectable. AA has the right idea - the beginning of wisdom is to acknowledge that we can do NOTHING about our problem. We can only be open to love. When we receive divine love, when we know God in love, we possibly become a conduit of love to the world. And when we open to love we begin to be healed.

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