For many, the word salvation, enlightenment, awakening, all conjure up the idea of the arrival at or the achievement of a state of life, living, or awareness that is the reward for “doing” the right thing. You could do nothing, however, to arrive at the place where you are already. You could never achieve what has been achieved for you already. This is the point of the Christian story. In various ways, similar stories of grace are found in virtually all spiritual traditions. Grace is like a divine Van Gogh. What more would you add to what is perfect already?
Grace is gift. A gift is free.
You cannot buy what is not for sale. You cannot become who you are already. Anything you seek to add to what God has done for you already makes grace a goal to achieve not a gift to receive. It would be like taking the brush of your efforts and add more color to a Van Gogh painting. Unthinkable! How could you make better what is perfect now?
Today, I will stop trying to paint on the canvas of God’s perfect world. Instead, I will enjoy its beauty everywhere. It is perfect. I am perfect. I give up the need to win God’s approval…an approval that’s brushed over by my awkward efforts to paint myself in a way that will please the critics around me…make them like me…admire, respect, even love me. It is that inner colorless feeling of unworthiness…the feeling that I’m being judged almost continually by virtually everyone I meet.
Instead, I will live today within the beauty that I am…the awareness that I am colorful, complete, perfect. I’ll not walk around it, analyze it, or try to figure it out. But, I’ll just remind myself…and, for me, that will have to be continually…that I am perfectly pleasing just as I am. I need not add anything to the canvas that is my life. Rather, I will give thanks that I’m not the failure my ego says I am. To the contrary, I am “Saved!” “Enlightened!” “Awakened!” “Grace-Aware!” I am God’s latest Van Gogh!
And oh, by the way, So are you!