If you have wondered where I have been for eight days, let's just say I had some unfinished business to attend to. That Forty Days on the Edge (the subject of my blog posts for the last month or so) along with other fortuitous circumstances have pushed me right over the edge. I went willingly, but I can tell you the drop is hell. Yet the landing easy. It's like a new country down here.
So what am I talking about? I'll have to spare you the details, but what I experienced in the last week is the sense, finally, of how ugly my sin sin really is, how expensive grace was, and yet how relentless God's love is. I made a graceful landing because that's where I live, in grace, and Jesus meant it when he said "my yoke is easy." I got a good look at myself in a mirror, and the theology I'm schooled in worked its way into my fingertips: I am what God says I am.
I have always viewed sanctification --- that process of becoming more like Christ --- as a sort of self-improvement project. Sure, I'm not perfect, there's much work to do, but I have goals and I'm getting better, right? Surely there are some positive things you can point to, but I really think this misses the point. The problem with getting better is that along the way you keep finding out more and more about how bad you really are. And that's really the point: the more sinful you are, the more you need God. If, after all, you're getting better all the time (to quote the Beatles), you eventually work God out of a job, right? That we don't see all our sin all the time is a concession to our frailty; that kind of knowledge would likely be the death of us.
I don't mean to imply that I have finished this business. No, I think the past week has just been a realization of how big a project I really am and how unable I am to contribute much to the process. With the Cross, the business of sin was really finished. But in this life, my work (my only work really) of resting on Christ's finished work is never done. My heart accuses me. I'll do what I can. But mostly I'll just point back to the Cross and say, "Deal with that, will you? Deal with that."