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  • Writer's pictureAdam

Time and Time and Time Again

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

When I was in third grade, my teacher had us make a list of 20 different blessings in our life that we were thankful for. Now 8 year old Adam for some reason was really ambitious about this little assignment and said "I'm gonna think of 100!" I can remember spending my free time that day carefully crafting the list. I remember going to church that Thanksgiving Eve and still working on making the list longer and longer.

I ended up reaching 100, and if I remember correctly I went over 100 by a few. I even typed up my list because I was that proud I had reached this goal. I remember I gave a copy to my great Aunt and she even put a copy of it up on her church bulletin board. That was a big deal for an 8 year old.

Looking back on that moment, I giggle a little because coming up with a list of 100 things I'm thankful for would be no problem today. I'm older and life is more abundant yet complex than when I was was at 8. I have a car now and can drive, a job, material items for film, ect. Thus bringing with it more blessings and opportunities. As well as mistakes.

Thanksgiving is upon us and I am thankful for many things. But, maybe what I'm most thankful for is compassion.

I got a beer with a friend of mine recently and we got talking about knowing people but not really knowing them. The people who you would say "Oh they would never do something like that". And then they do.

Why do I bring this up? And what does this have to do with Thanksgiving? I believe that we all have moments when we do something ourselves we said we would never do. And when we sin, when we mess up, what is one of the first things that usually escapes our mind and lips? Thanksgiving.

At 26, I'm still a young pup in many people's eyes. At least that is what the older congregants at my church tell me. And I do feel young. But to be honest I have done stuff that I am not proud of over the years. Little pitfalls that grow into sinkholes. You see other people mess up and you say "I would never do that". And suddenly you find yourself in the boat with them.

Now this can vary in intensity and scale. This could be a bad habit of using harmful words or a more far reaching effect of cheating relationally. I'm not gonna go into 'ranking sin' or which one is worse. Because honestly I have learned that it all leads to the same conclusion--isolation.

Isolation from who we truly are. Our true personalities. Our true character. Isolation from family, friends, community. I heard someone say that if someone starts to drift from you relationally whom you are close to, it usually is in tandem with them drifting from God as well.

A lot of times, our mistakes stem from motives that are selfish. At least I have found that to be true in my own life. It is my posture of wanting pleasure in my life however I deem fit and forgetting about what I really have now. And in consequence, the treasure I have that I often forsake. As I heard someone say in a song "trading the sun in for the moonlight".

But, often times I am thankful for the sunrise. Because it is another day to experience the Lord's grace and mercy. And compassion. A chance to be a better Adam. This is what The Relational Project is all about. The realization that we don't have to stay selfish in our failures. We don't have to isolate ourselves from God or others. Jesus' arms are just as open in our filthiness as in our Sunday best. He wants us to come to him when we are in the thick of it. To offer compassion. To show us the truth that we are not isolated. No matter how many times we have fallen short.

No matter how many times. Folks that is so huge and a truth we don't thing of enough. If we really meditate on that in our own life, how could it not draw us into the incredible vastness that is God's loving character to us?

So I can say with all truth that I am a filthy person at times. Selfish and stubborn. There are seasons where I fall into the same temptation time and time again. I get down, pray for forgiveness, and then fall in again. Haven't we all been here?

But, with all truth I can also say that I have experienced his love, grace, mercy, and compassion. The type of compassion that picks me up again. Strengthens me with truth and righteousness through the Spirit. A compassion that leads me to thanksgiving time and time and time again.

Quote from the song "Worth it" by Lecrae featuring other artists:

You say, "But I was misused"

But He gives greater grace

"But you don't understand, I've been addicted for years"

Yeah, but think of all the years of your addiction, add 'em together

And the verse still says, 'He gives greater grace' (grace)

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