Sunday, September 18, 2011

on grace and piano lessons, and having Someone to pull with

Awhile back, in response to this post, Harmony referred me to this talk (which can be read by clicking on the link back there, or viewed by clicking on the link here.)

The title of the talk is "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox, and as I read it, I found several points which were interesting and helpful to me.  I've put a few of them below.

 * * *

"Grace is not about filling gaps.  [as in, the gaps between what our behavior is and what our behavior should be.]  It is about filling us."

"Christ's arrangement with us is similar to a mom providing music lessons for her child.  Mom pays the piano teacher . . . Because Mom pays the debt in full, she can turn to her child and ask for something.  What is it?  Practice!  Does the child's practice pay the piano teacher?  No.  Does the child's practice repay Mom for paying the piano teacher?  No.  Practicing is how the child shows appreciation for Mom's incredible gift.  It is how he takes advantage of the amazing opportunity Mom is giving him to live his life at a higher level.  Mom's joy is found not in getting repaid but in seeing her gift used--seeing her child improve.  And so she continues to call for practice, practice, practice."

quirky 9-11
Me-around age 8 or so.  

"Some [Christians] are so excited about being saved that maybe they are not thinking enough about what comes next.  They are so happy the debt is paid that they may not have considered why the debt existed in the first place.  Latter-day Saints know not only what Jesus has saves us from but also what He has saved us for."

"The repenting sinner must suffer for his sins, but this suffering has a different purpose than punishment or payment.  Its purpose is change." (Dallin H Oaks, emphasis in original)

"A life impacted by grace eventually begins to look like Christ's life."  (Brett Sanders)

"While many Christians view Christ's suffering as only a huge favor He did for us, Latter-day Saints also recognize it as a huge investment He made in us."  (Omar Canals)

"[In cases of falling short of perfect obedience to the commandments of God] there should never be just two options:  perfection or giving up.  When learning the piano, are the only options performing at Carnegie Hall or quitting?  No.  Growth and development take time.  Learning takes time.  When we understand grace, we understand that God is long-suffering, that change is a process, and that repentance is a pattern in our lives.  When we understand grace, we understand that the blessings of Christ's Atonement are continuous and His strength is perfect in our weakness.  When we understand grace, we can . . . continue in patience until we are perfected."

"Christ is not waiting at the finish line once we have done 'all we can do'. (2 Nephi 25:23)    He is with us every step of the way."

"Grace is not a booster engine that kicks in once our fuel supply is exhausted.  Rather, it is our constant energy source.  It is not the light at the end of the tunnel but the light that moves us through the tunnel.  Grace is not achieved somewhere down the road.  It is received right here and right now.  it is not a finishing touch; it is the Finisher's touch (see Hebrews 12:2). "

"Seek Christ, and, as you do . . .you will feel the enabling power we call His amazing grace. . . . I'm pulling for you, and I'm not the only one.  parents are pulling for you, leaders are pulling for you, and prophets are pulling for you.  And Jesus is pulling with you."  (emphasis in original)

* * *

There's so much there that I really love, but I think my favorite is right there in the end.  For nearly twenty years now, I've had a mental image that I go to at times when I feel overwhelmed or afraid.  It's a scene of a sailboat in a storm.  The storm is dark and dangerous and scary, and I'm the only one in the boat.  Since I don't know how to sail, it's a pretty grim situation.    But then, I look up to the front (bow?  stern?) of the boat, and see that I'm not the only one in the boat, because Christ is there, with his masterful sailing talent and perfect love to boot.  Then I know I'm going to be just fine, that I'm safer in that boat in the crazy storm than I would ever be on dry land.

quirky 9-11
Image from Wikimedia Commons

When I read that last sentence, the image changes to one of two of us, Christ and me, pulling on the ropes (rigging?) of the boat, steering out of danger and getting us to where we want to be.


corrie said...

great post Charlotte.

Bamamoma said...

thanks! We've got a lot of ship metaphors this weekend. I really appreciate this. Also appreciate the phone call yesterday. Love you!

Bamamoma said...

Ok, I just watched the talk. I think it is excellent. I had to laugh though when he said that if someone hits a wrong note we don't say they aren't worthy to continue piano lessons. Well, that is exactly what my (stern, mean, abusive) piano teacher said to my mom about me. Glad Glenda isn't in charge and that Christ is. :)

Harmony said...

Glad you liked that talk too. And love the picture of you practicing the piano!

Kala said...

Grace is one of my favorite words. It's even my youngest middle name. I've collected talks and done a scripture study on it. I'm happy to be able to add this talk. Your picture is darling. I love the look on your face and how delicate your hands are.

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