Monday, April 6, 2009

Grace

I suppose it's only natural, but a lot of my friends (and probably lots of people in general) are feeling overwhelmed by life right now. For good or bad, we always wish for something better. John Steinbeck says in his novella, "The Pearl",
"For it is said that humans are never satisfied, that you give them one thing and they want something more. And this is said in disparagement, whereas it is one of the greatest talents the species has and one that has made it superior to animals that are satisfied with what they have."
Much of what I'm hearing and reading from my friends has an underlying sentiment that says "I'm doing everything I can, but it just isn't enough".
Passionfruit italian buttercream macarons. Yoinked the photo from Marilee, thanks!
In a church meeting a couple weeks ago the idea of grace was discussed. I've been thinking a lot about grace since then. In the Book of Mormon, Nephi writes, "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."
Back to Steinbeck's book, though I haven't finished it yet, it is, unsurprisingly depressing. A large pearl, the "Pearl of the World" is found by a poor fisherman. The pearl represents not only worldly wealth or filthy lucre, but also hope for a better future for the fisherman and his wife and baby. The fisherman dreams mostly of the education he will be able to afford for his son. He tells the villagers his son will read and write and know numbers, "he will know and through him we will know." Is it wrong for the fisherman to want this? Is it wrong for a person to dream, to want something better for herself and for humanity? None of my friends that are struggling are selfish. Their wants and dreams are for good things for themselves and for the world. But the things they want seem so big, maybe impossible to fully achieve.
But like Nephi said, God does not expect us to do it all. Whether or not you believe in the God I believe in, or any god at all, I hope this is obvious. No one expects you to do everything. But perhaps the more elusive idea that Nephi is trying to convey is that Christ's grace will make up for what we cannot do. It is not as though life will be "good enough" after all we have done. Christ's grace gives us the strength and gladness of heart to live an amazing life, such as it is.

Strawberry mango verrines with homemade granola.
Well, I didn't mean for this to be such a long essay, but all I really wanted to say is when you dream, dream big, no regrets, His grace is sufficient.

2 comments:

Lena said...

Thanks for this Christi. It helps put things in perspective. That it is ok to want the big things for yourself or your family, but you have to put the first bit of leg work in. Then Christ will fill in the rest. And that is good to know.

Candice said...

Thanks for the review, I needed that :)