Never Ending Edit

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Writing can be fun. You have a story to tell, and you pour it out on paper or into a computer. It’s a great story. But to be a truly great story, it must be edited, so you correct spelling and punctuation errors, add detail, move things around, delete irrelevant material. Then you ask an expert to edit. New errors emerge. About ten thousand commas have to be added. (Hyperbole is permitted to emphasize a point. It’s a writer thing.) Then you find a few more errors. Fix them. Review again. In the end you don’t stop editing because it’s perfect, you stop because you’re tired and it’s never going to be perfect.

It is very much the same thing with the Christian life.  By the grace of God, through faith in Jesus, your sins are forgiven, and you begin a new life as part of God’s great drama of salvation. Now that you are saved, the process of sanctification begins; the process of becoming more and more like Jesus. The Holy Spirit starts to “edit” your life. Corrections are needed in the way you think, in the way you react to things, in your priorities, in your relationships. Some things need to be added; worship, study, prayer, and love. Some things need to be eliminated; anger, lust, greed, and hate.

Just when you think you’ve got it, a new flaw emerges. It’ll never be perfect you think. And you’re right. In this life none of us will achieve perfection. But don’t despair, because on Judgement Day, we’ll get a robe of perfection directly from Jesus. It covers everything since He is perfect.

So, when you read my book, you will find errors. If you get to know me, you will see manifold imperfections. But on Judgement Day, not one comma will be out of place. SDG

Fifty Years

A lot can happen in fifty years. We put a man on the moon. The Vietnam war ended; badly. Personal computers, the internet, smart phones and electric cars came into our lives. A vacant lot now boasts a home and mature trees. Children grow up and have children who grow up. And two people who had no clue in 1966 have grown and changed and tested love and by the Grace of God are still in love; still married.

The joys of a first apartment, a first house, a first new car pale compared to the ecstasy over a first child, and the second one. Working and sweating together on the house or the garden. PTA and Girl Scout meetings, family trips, graduations and weddings; all the joys experienced together.

The pain when loved ones died, the anxiety of childhood illnesses, the loss of old friends. The fears and anxious nights when a car crash ends in flight for life, when a heart attack comes, when cancer strikes, when jobs are lost, when the money gets tight.

But Grace, always Grace, over and around and in all the joy and pain. Sustaining Grace, redeeming Grace that keeps two flawed people true to their vows.

I’m looking across the living room right now at my wife. Fresh from bible study this morning, she’ll probably work on the quilt she’s making for our grandson this afternoon. Later, she will prepare a supper, and we will talk about the day, read the bible a little and settle down for a do-nothing evening.

We are not the same as we were. We have a clue now. Vows mean something. Nothing works very well without God. Love grows from sparks and excitement to a well-settled fire that gives warmth and comfort. Love is strong. God is stronger. Happy Anniversary indeed!