It is their first year of gymnastics and the learning is fast. I watch from the parent observation deck and listen to the sounds of trampoline springs and watch coaches effortlessly present technique to copy. The girls jump up on the balance beam with arms stretched out wide. I watch their faces concentrate, their bodies lean and toddle and center again. They walk timid on four inches across. The balance takes effort and focus and drive.

I used to think this Jesus walk was a lot like this balancing – receive the grace over here, but be sure to measure up over here. I need help with this stuff, but this stuff I can handle on my own, thanks-but-no-thanks. But the more I try to do it that way, the more tired I become. Balance implies I have control. Balance implies inhibition. The whole goal of balance is to keep you from falling. But perhaps falling is the very thing we need. There is only grace, all grace. There is no Be careful not to get carried away with too much grace.

Too much? Really? Carried away is exactly what we need. I am finished with running around and trying to earn it or be worthy. Instead of arms outstretched to prevent the fall, I am open hands and needy heart and willing. I am not getting carried away. I am being carried away by this grace that is lavished and given for free, over and over, to this girl who doesn’t deserve.

Contrary to what some may say, that doesn’t lead me to apathy or license to do whatever thing I want because I can (though there is grace for that, too). Instead, true understanding of this favor leads me to my knees, to dependence, to humility, to arms raised up in thankfulness and head bowed down in peace.

How do you feel about this issue of balance when it comes to grace? Are you timid to be carried away by it?