Jesus is imaginary, and therefore only useful when raised to an even power.
(pause for laughter)
Postulate: Grace is necessary, even in the absence of God. Prove or find counterexample.
It’s not so much a matter of my failure to always behave consistent with my commitments. It’s more a matter of my being human, and therefore, being always consistent with my commitments is simply never going to happen. Frankly, the more self-inquiry I do, the more I wonder if I really have my commitments figured out. After doing some watching of TV clips and reading people who are allegedly smarter than me, I’m wondering if I’m not committed to the extinction of all humanity. We sure are a stupid bunch. But I digress. This is about me.
Yesterday I took a computer to my sister and brother-in-law’s house to work on a specific piece of software. When I got there, the computer wouldn’t boot. It took several hours before we figured out that the SATA controller had gone partially bad (it works except for booting, which is kinda important) and several more before I had the computer back to where it had been when I pulled it from active service that morning. By the end of the night, I had encountered an entirely new and unrelated problem (still unsolved) so it’s not like I even got back to my starting point.
It was as if the computer was saying, “You think you’re gonna work on what you wanna work on today? Well fuck you! You’re gonna work on MY agenda today!”
I mention it because this is frequently how I feel about myself. I want to make money. I want to solve problems. I want to help people. And my… self… seems to thwart my own intentions and desires more often than not. Some days it’s all I can do to get out of bed. Some days I fail to get out of bed.
So where does grace come from? Jesus is not an actor in my universe, so he’s out. Other people either can’t or won’t (at least, they haven’t yet managed to) provide grace for me. I think it has to come from within myself.
This post is an attempt to find language to describe what I’m working on with myself right now. I am pretty sure that part of my problem is that I can’t describe my problem well enough, so I’m working on it.
I think it has to come from within myself.
I think you're right, with a few caveats…
There are genuine physiological obstacles that can get in the way of finding internal "grace"–serotonin or norepinephrine deficiencies, stuff like that. I'm not a doctor, but things like "Some days I fail to get out of bed" might be indicators of such a physiological issue.
That aside, each of us needs to find it within ourselves to be the person we want to be. Even Mormon theology says so–Jesus isn't going to just wave a wand and *hey presto* we're changed–we have to work for it and want it, and then (according to Mormonism), Jesus will step in and give us a boost.
Maybe that boost (if it really exists) can come from someone/somewhere else. But that's not going to happen unless we're working on things ourself.