Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Book of Questions: 007

The Book of Questions (by: Gregory Stock) is just that - a book of questions. The only answers are the ones we, the reader, come up with on our own in isolation or with a group of friends. These are guaranteed to shift the conversation with loved ones in whole new directions. For me, I decided to take it upon myself to slowly, but surely, go through the entire book.  There are 292 questions. This could take awhile.

Keep in mind that I write these as if they were spontaneously presented during a fireside chat. I don't plan out or outline what I am going to write. It's my belief that sometimes, in certain situations - such as a fireside chat - we need to know that while we are accountable for what we say out loud, we need to be given a fair chance to retract. Sometimes we need to hear our thoughts to truly see the validity and truth behind them and to comfortably say, "You know what? I take that back." I think this becomes more and more necessary as media pounces on anything said so they can twist and manipulate the real meaning, behind the words - granted, the truth isn't always pretty. 

With our culture obsessed with in-your-face reactions and responses, we're rarely given time to think before speaking. Not excuses for things that are said, but just saying that sometimes we need to give the benefit of the doubt seeing that you, as well as myself, have been relieved on more than one occasion to be given such grace. With that said, I'll take a mound of burning logs under a mountainous, starry sky than a camera in my face. Can I get an "Amen"?

What is the most serious law you've broken doing something you thought was morally right, wouldn't hurt anyone, or was no one's business but yours? How bad would the punishment have been if you'd been caught and given the maximum sentence?

Being pretty much a goody-two-shoes my entire life (of which I have no regrets), it is a little difficult to come up with an answer to this. Not impossible mind you, but difficult. Okay, the "difficult" is a lie. I was a goody-two-shoes. And when a goody-two-shoes exits the moral grid no matter how brief, it is easy to remember any transgressions. It is with spurious pride that I admit that I did get my name in the paper. Sort of.

The first sign of being a novice and being "bad" is when you're dressed all in black heading out the front door passed your mom and into the nighttime hours of autumn. Of course mom police radar - otherwise known as "she's not an idiot" - went off with sirens wailing. If it were a TV show, an iron-barred cage would have descended from the ceiling seizing any plans I had of tee-peeing in a nearby neighborhood. It wasn't a TV show and we managed to head out the door with a trunk full of toilet paper rolls waiting to be tossed and hung from as many branches as possible.

We weren't caught, but our childish actions were reported to the police and also written up in the Penny Saver. Of course it was stupid and disrespectful and to be honest, any time I strayed off the beaten path of...let's say common sense, it never felt right. I was and still am a goody-two-shoes through and through. Not perfect, but my conscience sings opera. 

By Christ dying on the cross, grace abolished law. Through His teachings, we learn that heaven is not ours by following rules. It becomes our eternal home through our relationship with Christ. So I will not say I broke laws of grace because I think that is any oxymoron. I will say while not breaking many laws, I have fallen short of the model of grace that Christ continues to show us through His word. I have mishandled situations at both home and work, with family and colleagues, but grace is what got me through it and it gets us through every time.

"Grace is a thought that changed the world." - Bono 



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