Grace and the Motor Home

Courtesy Wikicommons

A few weeks back, we were discussing grace in priesthood meeting in the homeless branch where we serve. The discussions in those meetings are some of the most energetic doctrinal conversations I have ever heard. Opinions are rarely defended and the atonement and power of grace are held up. It’s a blessing.

Anyway, one of our number raised his hand and told a story. He told of buying an old motor home and spending several days getting it in running order. When he finally got it running, and he took it for a drive, it broke down. He was stuck, by himself, on the side of the road. He didn’t know what to do. The hulking mass of steel and wood was too heavy for him to push off the road alone.

Finally, it struck him. He said to himself, “If I want help, I’d better go out there and push this motor home with all I’ve got. Then help will come my way.”

So that’s what he did. He got out and and pushed, alone. But he was only alone for five minutes. Soon two others showed up and together they were able to in the motor home off the road where it could safely repose until more help arrived.

He likened his experience to the grace of God. Yes, often, God helps us when we don’t deserve it, but more often than not, grace arrives when we are doing our best, reaching out, reaching up, giving our best.

Our plea for grace is not a Lazy-Boy-and-remote experience. We have to get up out of our chairs, if we are able. We have to put the remote down, as we must. We have to do something, as any good father would require, before we are empowered to solve a problem or receive help from others.

Grace is the power to do things, without which we could not do them. It is the power of God in our lives to take positive action. I am not saying that we can earn grace, but we certainly can hasten its arrival by getting up and doing something, in faith. Grace is a call to action.

Often but not always, sincere, devoted, prayer-guided action is the photosynthesis of grace. Grace is costly, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote. The cost is discipleship and the price is action.

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8.)