A devout religious man fell on hard times. So he took to praying in the following fashion: "Lord, remember all the years I served you as best I could, asking for nothing in return. Now that I am old and bankrupt I am going to ask you for a favour for the first time in my life and I am sure you will not say No: allow me to win the lottery."
Days passed. Then weeks and months. But nothing happened. Finally, almost driven to despair, he cried out one night, "Why don't you give me a break, God?"
He suddenly heard the voice of God replying: "Give me a break yourself! Why don't you buy a lottery ticket first?"
(Anthony de Mello)
Paradoxically, we receive everything as gift, yet we have to make it work. Disciplined and costly grace.
A Prayer for Disciplined Grace:
God of life, today we give you thanks that you shower upon us so many gifts, skills and aspirations. Give us the hearts and discipline to use them for your kingdom and the good of all people. We ask this in the name of Jesus, who gave his all for us. Amen.