Knowing our limits, understanding what we can and what we cannot do, is important for our health and wellbeing. It helps us to say yes, when we should. And it keeps us from setting ourselves up to fail.
But only if we’re talking about our real limits.
Too often, our ideas about our own limits are based on something other than facts. Something else (past failures, other people’s expectations, our own fears) has shouted down the truth. And made us back up.
So we draw lines, build fences, and throw up walls for ourselves. Walls that have nothing to do with our actual limits, the full extent of what we are able to do.
Once that happens, it’s easy to start making up limits for everyone else. Even God.
In fact, it’s hard not to.
Which is what we see in both the first reading and the Gospel for Sunday. People who are so far gone in setting limits for themselves – and for God – that they can’t receive the grace that is offered.
Or even know to ask for it.
For most of us, this is territory that is way too familiar.
More on this Thursday.