Signal Grace & Man Before God

I was searching for the meaning of “signal grace” and came upon this excerpt which somehow gave me hope for what at times seems the scattered pieces of my life.  Countless days lost, after my dreams of offering God the ‘work of my life’, so that  at the end of my days,  I could hear the words “Good and faithful servant. ”

From Man Before God

by Adrienne von Speyr, mystic:

There comes a moment in every man’s life when he begins to reflect on his place in the whole of the cosmos, on his future, and on the limits of what he can do. But he cannot think about his future without making his past part of the present moment. He sees what he has planned and achieved so far; he also sees everything that has not been achieved, the failed remainder, which perhaps stands before him as his own failure. He remembers days of work, days of rest, his nights, his daydreams, the great deal that he has received, and the little that he has given. He sees that it will not be easy to balance the books because so many seeds have not borne fruit. Many entries are left with question marks next to them; occasionally there is a successful item that could be marked with a round figure. And yet, it is not at all clear that this figure is really round; it is part of a series along with so many other figures that do not come out right.

And now man plans. He draws conclusions from his experiences. He wants to reach farther and different goals. But suddenly he hesitates: whatever plan he makes, he must always reckon with himself He cannot envision any future that fully satisfies him, because he cannot count on any full performance from himself He knows himself well enough to realize that he will always be an obstacle to himself because he does not remain faithful to his best resolutions. Wherever he turns, he encounters his limits. And yet he must go on, and he cannot do this unless he has before him a road, a destination, an image of his future—unless he undertakes something that satisfies him and that he brings about by his own power.

Once again he looks back on his past. He attempts to take a sober look at the obstacles that he himself placed on the path, to draw up an account of all that he has neglected. He tries to do this in a spirit in which he calls things by name and perceives the truth about the forces at work. None of this is easy, because as soon as he gives these failures their real name, he becomes painfully aware of his own responsibility. This failure humiliates him, and now things might seem darker to him than they really are. His confidence in the future wavers. He realizes how much remains undone; how often something was tried, abandoned, and forgotten again. The very first difficulty threw him off track; he simply gave up.

The past weighs on him and paralyzes his new resolutions. He knows beforehand that it will not work. He looks around in search of heroes who made up their minds to do some great work and did not let anything keep them from it. He would gladly be such a person, with the corresponding strength, ability, and perseverance. There is no end to his wishes and yearnings, but resignation debilitates them. He knows that, when all is said and done, he is no hero. Everything about him is futile. Continue reading