The other day, son J and I had a conversation about 'try', as in, "I try to be a good person.' This is his guiding principle right now, one I've heard from many, many people. He said we aren't so different in that, that I try as well, just with a belief in God. I disagreed completely, though he couldn't really hear me. So I write this here, working out my thoughts in the way I think best.
It's true. I don't believe in TRY. I don't believe I can possibly make enough effort to become 'good' or holy (which is the word I would rather use). In fact, it's a fundamental core deep reality that effort got us nowhere, was so impossible that God had to come to earth to do the work for us. Our 'try' landed (and continues to land) us in hot water, ie, sin so deadly that we are doomed.
The events of this week shout of this fact. We believe in peace while, even at the most peaceful of events bombs go off. We believe in personal rights, without knowing the difference between right and wrong. For instance, the other night when Beve and I were out at dinner, I heard a father tell his son that he should learn the difference between right and wrong because, "God is watching every move you make." Then went on to talk about how he (the dad) loved both the boy's mom and a new girlfriend. We believe in truth, but that's often prefaced with 'your own truth', and never in relation to THE Truth, the absolute truth. What I'm saying here is that humans have made everything relative to themselves, and nothing relative to God.
And this is because we don't know Him. 'There is no peace," scripture tells us. "All have sinned," we're told. If we could be good enough ourselves, could control our lives, we'd do it. We can't.
So how then should I live? Only with His aid. Only asking Him to do more, to increase and me to decrease--in my own life! Starting each day with the prayer that He will live it through me, surrendering my body, mind, soul and strength to Him so that He, who is holy, creates what is holy in this temple in which He lives--the life I'm merely renting from Him. And thanking Him that He loves me enough to do it. And that He loves me when I fail, when I take over again, that He loves me enough to forgive me when I fail. Yes, that He just plain loves me enough.
This is truth: that He will come and dwell with us, and we get the amazing gift of beholding His glory right within our tiny lives. And--the Father can glorify HIM within those lives.
There is no try in this, there is only surrender to Him.
And great joy that it's enough.