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Life is sometimes, murky.

Most of us have lived long enough to have too many regrets.  Our former selves were careless, thoughtless, wild, desperate, addicted, and a host of other terrible sounding adjectives.  Our pasts’ have followed us like our shadows;  always close by, and most noticeable during our brightest moments.  So we dare not risk the bright places, and choose to hide in the murky places where shadows seem much more normal.  We are afraid of our shadows, sure, but I think we are more afraid of our potential. 

Life is sometimes, brilliant.

There are days when the sun seems to set like a brush-stroked painting, filled with vivid colors, imagination, and romance.  Days and moments when we feel so alive, the world seems like a perfect place.  These are the brilliant times, and during them we believe the best things about ourselves – that we are full of possibility, courage, faith, and adventure.  It’s in the brilliant times that we aren’t afraid to fail;  when we risk something to chase after the things that our hearts beat most rapidly for.  In the imagination of the brilliant place, we believe we are destined for amazing and beautiful things.  

Yet, for most of us, life is a kind of slow and awkward dance between murky and brilliant.

As much as we try, we can’t shake our shadows.  We live in this sort of awkward tension between the murky places and the brilliant places.  Our hearts cry for courage, but our knees are often too weak.  Like an awkward junior high dance, we nervously and clumsily move.  Our destiny – our potential – is asking us to dance, but our regrets are saying no.

In these places where your past and your present awkwardly collide, may you find grace, thriving.

May you know that yesterday does not get to define tomorrow for you.  With Jesus, old things become new things, dead things become live things, and murky things become brilliant things.  May the dance between your murky things and your brilliant things be courageous and beautiful – and may grace give you the conviction to believe the best about yourself.

May grace win the battle for you.