I want to earn my way.

I want to live in the world of achievement and merit.

I prefer to prove myself worthy ... of God, of love, of my existence.

There is another way, though. A way that differs from the world of merit like day differs from night.

And I turn to Robert Farrar Capon to find that way - the way of grace.

Read this prayer from Capon. Read it aloud. Read it again, and then again. I dare you.

See if it isn't the unspoken prayer of your life.

Lord, please restore to us the comfort of merit and demerit.

Show us that there is at least something we can do.

Tell us that at the end of the day there will at least be one redeeming card of our very own.

Lord, if it is not too much to ask, send us to bed with a few shreds of self-respect upon which we can congratulate ourselves.

But whatever you do, do not preach grace.

Give us something to do, anything; but spare us the indignity of this indiscriminate acceptance.

(Robert Farrar Capon)

I secretly pray this prayer all the time.

I cling to any scrap of self-created righteousness I can find.

I insist on trying to earn my way to God.

When all the while, I am already there.

Grace wins.