If I could, I would take charge of my life and make it turn out just right. I can’t. I have tried and failed repeatedly.

Fully functional people are organized, disciplined and able to get what they want out of life. Organization is out of the question for me; the very idea of discipline makes me feel guilty. I have broken virtually every resolution I ever made. And as for getting what I want out of life, what I want most is love, and love comes only as a gift. All I can “do” is be willingly, actively open to receiving the gift.

I know love is a gift because I have experienced more love in my life than I could ever have deserved or earned. I cannot take credit for any of it. It is all grace. I have no doubt that a loving presence has abided with me over the years, mysteriously weaving love’s presence through my aspirations and failures.

Still, I cannot shake the feeling that I should have done it all by myself. Some tight, addicted voice inside me keeps saying, “You should be on top of things, in control; it is a cop-out to depend on grace.” The voice is old and empty; I know it is not from my living heart. But it is powerful. For every failure in my life, I feel either guilt or shame, and sometimes both. And it is all right.

It is better than all right, for it has been more my failures than my successes that have opened me to love. When I find myself being overconcerned with efficiency, I turn my attention to the mysterious, amazing grace that has seen me through all my dysfunctions. Sometimes I turn there because I need help. Sometimes I turn in gratitude. But mostly, my turning toward grace is a simple, wordless act of love.

Prayer: God, help me to loosen my compulsive grip on myself, and teach me to receive your grace.

-Gerald G. May- excerpt taken from Galations 2:20-21  NIV Recovery Devotional Bible