Almost Doesn’t Count

I was going to wait til I got to the new house in AL to write anything else, but I thought why not.  Monday I went with Amanda to the Fondren area of Jackson and she took some cool pictures. These pictures will be my Mother’s Day present, and also a bribe to my Grandmother, lol. Okay, not quite. I have talked with my Grandma about going to Canada and I feel like we understand each other a little better now. Still, I know she’s always wanting pictures, so I thought it might be a nice gesture to send her some before I ship off. Amanda and I were going to go to the Orange Peel Monday, but it was closed, so I went today with her and Callie; fun times were had.


Let’s see…things that have happened since last post. I randomly discovered this guy Ross on MySpace. He’s only 20, but he writes amazingly well. His stuff is intimidatingly good (when I compare it to mine anyway). I subscribed to him nonetheless. Maybe spectacular writing ability is contagious?




God taught me some stuff last week about opening up to people. Being vulnerable is truly a sacrificial act. However, if Jesus could put Himself in the ultimate position of vulnerability (becoming human), suffer horribly, and still choose to open Himself up, we have no excuse. If anything, the challenge to open up to other people is the challenge to become more like Christ.




In other news . . . today I had quite a scare–once again, my diploma almost slipped through my fingers (thus the title of this entry).


I had yet another brush with Mrs. Mummert *grr*. Understand, I have nothing personal against Mrs. Mummert; I’m sure she’s a very nice lady. But her title, Coordinator of Degree Candidacy, is not a nice title. Basically it means that she is in charge of keeping up with who can graduate and who can’t. I have never received happy correspondence from Mrs. Mummert *grr*. Earlier this semester, some of you may remember me mentioning getting 2 different notices from her 2 weeks in a row saying I was missing hours to graduate. The first issue was easily resolved. The second one required me adding a class after add days had passed (because I didn’t find out til then). I ran all over campus that day, getting permission and making arrangements to join the class. My first day in that walking class, I asked the teacher if I needed to make up anything. He said no.


Fast forward to this morning, when my cell phone rings and it’s Mrs. Mummert *grr*. And of course, she had bad news. She said she didn’t know if I was already aware of this, but I was missing an hour credit to graduate. As I attempted to dislodge my stomach from my throat, I choked out that I was not aware of that, and asked her which class was the problem. It was the late class I added. I told her I didn’t understand, that I had attended the class faithfully and was told I didn’t need to make up anything. She gave me the number to the Kinesiology Dept. The department head was out to lunch, but I left a message for him to call me. As I waited for him to return my call, I did a lot of praying and pacing around my room haha. Of course, I went through the desparate panic, almost-teary, “help” stage…then the “make a way” stage…then the “Your will be done” stage.


The problem was easily solved in this instance, too. My teacher called me and explained that this year was the first time the teachers had submitted grades electronically, and he had accidentally bumped something wrong. He meant to fail the person on the list behind me, not me. So, everything worked out, and I am still graduating Saturday.




But…


Once again, my situation got me to thinking about grace. And the implications of “falling short.” As I was waiting for the department chair to call me, I was trying to think of what I would tell him. I thought of several persuasive things I could say–I only missed class twice, and even then it was out of necessity…This hour will keep me from graduating…I was told there was nothing I needed to make up, but if he wanted I would go out that second and walk those weeks’ worth to make up for it if he would pass me. All kind of stuff was flying through my head. But I realized something: the man had no obligation to me. I had done everything I could do, but it wasn’t enough. At that point, my fate was completely in his hands. I could beg and plead, but I couldn’t argue with the books.


This may just provide evidence of how weird I am, but the incident today made me think about people who think that by doing a lot of good in the world they’ll get into heaven. Don’t get me wrong, the world can always use help and it’s great to give back. But if you’re solely depending on that to get you through the hereafter, it’s not enough. We can try to figure out the system, and do everything we should do, when we should do it. In the end, though, we’re still subject to the system; we don’t rule it. When circumstances arose, I did everything I should have done, but when it came down to it, I couldn’t control what happened. None of us can control when we die (unless you go the whole suicide route, but that’s a whole other rant for another day). What makes us think that we somehow control how our good deeds pan out in the end? If we’re subject to death, that means we are all subject to something bigger. We have no control. Oh, we tell ourselves that we do, that we can think of a million reasons and a dazzling argument worthy of the ear of God. But, when it all comes down, God has no obligation to us, and in the words of Brandy, “Almost doesn’t count.”


And yet, though God doesn’t have an obligation to us, He made a way anyway. I was pretty embarrassed of myself when I thought about how worried I was about receiving mercy from the Kinesiology department so I could graduate, compared with how little I ponder the significance of the mercy I’ve already received from the hand of God. And the really sad part is, that graciousness far, far exceeds anything the Kinesiology department or Mississippi College could ever grant me. I guess that’s how it goes, huh? We focus on the minute mercies, those that matter just to get us through the next step, yet we have become far too accustomed to the greatest mercy–the one that will get us through eternity. I know I’m guilty of that sometimes, anyway.


Just food for thought.


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