Sunday, July 12, 2009


It's the middle of the afternoon. I should have stayed home this morning to read and write on the texts for tomorrow's class. Instead, I went to an exciting Sunday service (JRA, Springfield MO) and a good Vietnamese lunch with dear friends. It's hard to tell how the stress of being behind in reading will balance the pleasure of time away from the books.

The dilemma of "stay" or "go" reminds me of the good angel and the bad angel who are supposed to be writing down the good and bad deeds for Muslims over a lifetime. In the end, whatever weighs heavier is what gets you to Paradise or hell. You can't tell until you're dead.

Getting behind in reading doesn't send us to an eternal damnation far from God. I'm willing to risk that being part of a congregation this morning was good for the soul, if bad for the academic schedule. However, I wouldn't want to gamble my salvation on the capriciousness of my own actions, especially on how I have acted over a lifetime.

Today, as I get back into densely written pages, my confidence and hope rests in the provision of Jesus. I know where I'm going because of God's promise. My destination doesn't depend on my own checklist coming out "better" rather than "worse."

Jesus is Good, and his Good was written across my file after his blood wiped it clean of what I had accomplished. A hopeful and optimistic balance indeed.

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