Tuesday, November 13, 2012

roll away your stone

This song makes me want Easter.

I do not understand the mystery of grace. Only that it meets us where we are and doesn't leave us where she found us.
-Anne Lamott

We are what we love.
And we are what we chose.

In Mere Christianity, my dear C.S. says something that has always stuck with me:
"Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different than it was before."

I am always so struck by how fast one can grow. How at the end of the week, the beginning of the week seems like it was longer ago than freshman year. How I can learn so much in a day, even if I don't go to class. How all the little choices of one month can lead me to a place I never could have predicted one month before. I do not understand the mystery of life; only that we are never left in the same place very long at all. For the gypsy princess inside of me, the constant movement is where I thrive.

Life--and grace--both work in the same way: as you move across each bridge you burn it behind you. And that is truly a blessing. Freedom is too often equated with choice. But if freedom, as I've so often been told, is being who you truly are, then there really is no choice. There is only being who you truly are, or existing in some sort of hazy mirage of half-truth.

I cannot choose who I truly am: I can only discover who I am. C.S. Lewis goes on to say:

"Taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing into a heavenly creature or a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself."
There is hardly a choice between choosing between becoming a hellish creature or a heavenly creature. There is no choice in allowing yourself to continued to be enslaved. The choice is really whether or not you will allow yourself to relinquish your choice and become free. To become free by submitting to love. As Mumford sings, "Love it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you, it will set you free."
Although some nights, I'm not quite sure who that is, if I know where I stand, if I know who I love, then I'm one step closer to understanding who I am.

That's why we are what we love. As my mother so often tells me: loving someone is daily choice. Who we love determines the choices we make, which in turn determine what we become (c.f. the C.S. Lewis quote above). When you say: "Not my will, but yours be done" you are submitting to the other that essential part of yourself. True love, as Mama T insists, is surrender. You are allowing the other to shape the person you are becoming. It's silly in a very serious way to trust someone that much. To give yourself over to them so completely.
To hand them the match and say: burn this bridge. I've crossed it, and I'm not going back.

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