What is grace?
The formal definition is “unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification.”
“Regeneration?” Wow, if that isn’t a 50-cent word, I don’t know what is.
Let me “regenerate” this definition by creating a broader definition.
I would define grace by the ability to mindfully appreciate the gifts life has given you. Both merited and not merited. And including unmerited gifts from sources less divine than the AllMighty.
Even with that definition, I can tell you that, for me, learning to accept the idea grace was a bit like the introduction of Apple Airpods. I first laughed at them as ridiculous. Then, “wow, I get it. This is amazing! My life will never be the same.”
Why did I first reject grace?
The reasons that were in my head…
I take personal responsibility for my actions; my wins, my losses. Therefore, I thought, why should I have grace for the things that I have? My work, my success. Right?
Why do I give thanks or be grateful for the things that I have? I already have them. It felt kinda like going back and being grateful for your 2nd-grade baseball trophy. What’s the point? It’s the past.
Grace? That’s a religious thing. And though I was more so growing up, I’m not conventionally religious. So if you’re not in the club, why do the club activities?
For me, Grace was a waste of time. Until I realized it wasn’t.
By looking at all the gifts you’ve been given, grace is like a mirror that allows you to take an assessment of your true wealth and value in life and all the ways people have invested in you. To realize how “wealthy” you actually are and how to be happy with the wealth in life you already have.
How I feel grace.
I’m grateful for being born into a family that had love and means. That taught me lessons about life and prepared me for it. That got me through college debt-free. That inspired me with the knowledge and tools that help me start two businesses. That I’m healthy. That hard work met luck at the right time. Timing that lead me to working with leading Fortune 500 companies and smart people I could learn from. I’m grateful for the hard lessons in love. Even the person I was going to marry dying, taught me how to love better. I’m grateful for the “lucky” moments, like a chance meeting with an advertising professor, that looking back, created opportunities that changed my life.
I think grace is what Thanksgiving is really about. A moment to stop and look around at the gifts, (friends, family, fortunes) that got you here today.
Grace does look at the past. But also reminds you of the gifts and tools you’ve been given to move forward to create your future.