“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a soul like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.” ‘Amazing Grace’ has always been my all-time favorite gospel song. My favorite gospel singer was Tennessee Ernie Ford and he could sing that song with so much grace that it would make my heart smile.
You may have noticed that one word of the lyrics above was changed. In Unity Churches, we change the word ‘wretch’ to ‘soul’ because we don’t believe that God (by whatever name you use) made any wretches. (No disrespect to the original lyrics.) The Bible states that we were made in God’s image, and if we were made in God’s image, then that would be like calling God a wretch! We are nothing BUT beautiful, wonderful, and magnificent in the eyes of God! How can we be anything less when we were made by our very Creator?
Many people believe that God gives grace to only certain people or that only certain people deserve God’s grace. Not so! We don’t need God’s grace because we ARE God’s grace! Every single one of us! We are loved in equal measure no matter who we are, what we do, or what we experience in life.
And were we ever lost? Not really. We were just unaware. We were unaware of who we really are, and once our eyes are opened to this amazing reality, then we can no longer be blind. We become aware that we are a part of God and God is a part of us. We become aware of our connectedness to everyone and everything. We become aware that we are one with all of life!
If you took the strongest microscope, and under it you put a sample of every single person and every single thing on this planet, you would see that we’re all made of the exact same stuff. It doesn’t matter the color of our skin, our nationality, gender, or where we live…we’re all the same. And would you believe that we are also made of the same stuff as rocks, trees, dirt, grass, and every other thing that you can imagine? How all those cells can hold together to make seemingly solid forms is beyond me! Talk about amazing grace!
Humans and animals are living, breathing, walking miracles! Think about it. These bodies should not even be working! The heart beats on its very own! There are no batteries, there is no electricity, nor are there any other earthly powers that keep it going. To be honest, it’s beyond my comprehension how the heart can beat for up to over a hundred years without any outside power sources!
Most of us can breathe on our own, we can walk, talk, see, hear, taste, smell, and we get to live these lives that are so amazing to whatever degrees that we are living them! Of course, many might say that their lives are horrible so how can I call them amazing? I totally understand! Sometimes experiences can suck the energy right out of us and we may find ourselves wondering why we even bother. But don’t you see? If we can’t be grateful for our life experiences, at least be grateful for the basics that I just mentioned! We can be amazed at life itself even if we’re not happy with the way our lives are going. Start with the basics and build from there!
So how can we even begin to live our lives with amazing grace? We can start by being loving, kind, and compassionate, not only to others, but to ourselves as well. Try to find the good in everyone and everything. I like to shoot Spirit wads of love to people and animals. When I go for a walk, I’ll tell everything I see that it’s beautiful, including a rusty old mailbox! When you’re at home and you look in the mirror, tell yourself that you’re beautiful no matter how you look! Also tell your family and friends! We can also be of service to others!
Once we make the effort to change our mind-set about life itself, it will start to change the way we see ourselves, those around us, and our world. When we live with the attitude of amazing grace, we may even find that we can be happy, even when life isn’t so fun!
Pope Francis said, “Grace is not part of consciousness; it is the amount of light in our souls, not knowledge nor reason.” And Denis Waitley stated, “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”
Published in the religion section of the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper March 4, 2016.