A Revelation of Awakening, Not Accomplishing

If you asked me whether what I have done in my life defines my life, I would answer, “No.” That’s not to diminish my sins or humble-bumble my successes. It is simply to affirm a grace often realized only in the winter of life. The winter is stark but also comforting. I am, and have always been, more than the sum of my deeds. Thank God.

If asked whether I have fulfilled my calling as an evangelist, I would answer, “No.” That answer is not guilt-ridden or shame-faced. It is to witness to a larger truth, again more clearly seen in my later days. My calling is, and always has been, to a life filled with family and friends and alcohol and Jesus and Roslyn and notoriously good sinners.

If asked whether I am going gently into old age, I would answer, “No.” That’s just plain honest. It is true that when you are old, you are often led where you would rather not go. In a wisdom that some days I admit feels foolish, God has ordained the later days of our lives to look shockingly similar to that of our earliest: as dependent children.

If asked whether I am finally letting God love me, just as I am, I would answer, “No, but I’m trying.

Brennan Manning in All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir

The Biblical revelation is about awakening, not accomplishing. You cannot get there, you can only be there, but the foundational Being-in-God, for some reason, is too hard to believe, and too good to be true for most people. Only the humble will usually believe it and receive it, because it affirms more about God than it does about us. Proud people are not attracted to such explanations.

Richard Rohr in Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation on Thursday, November 13, 2014.


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