God’s BEST

A worship lesson from Luke 15: 11-32-
Me:  “ I’m no longer worthy!”
God:” Quickly, Bring out the Best!”
Many years ago I knelt at an altar at Blue Lake Campground’s Wesley Chapel  for the first of what would become many trips to that altar over the next 25 years. Once again I had come to communion feeling unworthy and broken. As Rev. Ron Ball pronounced a communion blessing he said  to me, “God’s BEST has been given to you.” Truly, only God alone could have known what meaning those words would have for me in that moment.
I had been a “striver”, seeking The BEST, excellence in all things, for as long as I could remember, and mostly succeeding in life. I had a list of accomplishments that made me feel good about my doing. But my being, that was another matter altogether.  I even signed correspondence with this signature line,  “Expecting the BEST!”  It was such an arrogant and burdensome expectation of myself.  But further, it was a demand that I put upon others, as well. “ If I can do this, so can you!” was the message my life communicated.  I was the consummate cheerleader for giving it all you’ve got!
In my heart of hearts, however, I knew my failings, my brokenness, my hurts, my shame.  None of my doings could change the pain and disappointments at the depth of my being.  When you demand the BEST of life, of yourself, of others, it is a sure-fire set up for disappointment.  Sooner or later the passionate pursuit of perfectionism will all come down on your head with a crashing realization that you cannot do it any longer.

Welcome to the real world and the crushing reality that I, in and of my previously SELF- focused ego, with my SELF-interest based ethic can do nothing without the strength, the patience, the perseverance, the guidance, even the very breath that Christ alone brings.  It was a jarring moment.  From that quiet, gentle starting point at the altar, “God’s BEST has been given to you,”  the following three days were a crash course in dissembling and reconstructing my identity away from my doing life to Christ Being Life In Me.  It would take years to fully reorient all aspects of a life spent endeavoring to “have it all.”  But when it came, my correspondence signature had changed.  It now reads, “Experiencing God’s BEST daily!” Truly, God has given his BEST at the cross for me and through Christ, I have received the BEST of life that Is the Presence of the Holy Spirit.