Lately I’ve been really tough on myself. Approving of myself only if I live up to all the things I set out to do, knowing there isn’t time for them all. I shouldn’t say lately, because heck, I’ve always done it. Why do I do this, when I love giving others plenty of leeway? It’s like I’m saying grace is for you, but not me. I didn’t see how prideful that was ‘til I wrote it down.
So, I was running this morning, and thinking, great now I can approve of myself, I’ve earned my self- respect for the day with this run. Then I was running myself down for being so hard on myself, when I got to this bridge. It looks daunting, but if you were going as slowly as I was, it wasn’t that bad. I was in a great frame of mind (despite the self-recriminations), just enjoying being out, I’m by myself so rarely these days. I looked out across the water and a little boat was heading out, being followed and surrounded by a bunch of seagulls. They were all around the little boat, high in the air and swooping low, and I wondered if there was a bait bucket visible that made them follow. As I made my way slowly up the bridge, I thought, that’s what God’s grace is like. It’s surrounding me, over me, going with me, all the time. And as I thought this, there were noises on the bridge as cars passed back and forth. What if the bridge falls? I thought. And just as quickly as I thought it, I heard God’s assurance, I’ve got you. I’ve got you. I’ve got you.
Soon I was over the bridge, and when I came back to it and crossed again, I saw the little boat and another boat, both surrounded by seagulls. Surrounded by grace. There were more bridge noises, and my vision played tricks on me as the water rolling away under the bridge competed with my concentration on the ground 10 feet in front of me. The more exhausted I got, the shorter my thoughts were. Until all I heard was I’ve got you, I’ve got you, I’ve got you. I didn’t really want to go running this morning. It’s not my favorite thing. But I’m glad I went. Not so I could approve of myself. I needed reminding, Who’s got me.