By Roxanne Smith

I couldn’t figure out what I was missing. The sermon just wasn’t making sense to me. I was in my normal spot, back left side of our church. Pastor Justin was talking about our spiritual lives, comparing them to sides of a Rubik’s cube.

OK, I’ll admit, I couldn’t see the Rubik’s cube he was holding. But I’ve seen Rubik’s cube before, so I thought I could just picture one in my mind.

Still, I wasn’t quite grasping the concepts. I mentioned it to my husband Andy afterward. “I really didn’t understand that.” There were lots of people around, so he tactfully demurred.

It wasn’t until later in the day that I learned from friends that there had been slides on the screen to illustrate the concepts in Justin’s message. From where I was, the screen wasn’t visible.

“Oh, wow, no wonder I wasn’t getting it!”

I asked my friends about what had been on the slides, but they couldn’t quite remember it all. They could see the slides but couldn’t hear the message as well as they wanted to because they were ushering. They had been standing in the very back. There were a number of babies crying, which had been distracting for them. And of course it would be the Sunday I’d volunteered to write a blog post about the worship experience!

Great. Just great.

So I looked at 1 Peter 1:13, part of Peter’s letter about which Justin had preached.

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

My takeaway from “preparing your minds for action” is to be aware of things that can get in the way of my faith walk. Obstacles like not being able to see screens. Or my friends not being able to fully listen to a spiritual message. This isn’t a perfect world, and circumstances are often less than ideal. “Being sober-minded” reminded me of being serious about trying to follow Jesus.

That’s a real goal I have for my life. But I know myself. I wax and wane. I’m not a perfect follower; sometimes I bristle at what God is asking. Other times I’m apathetic.

“Set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you” tells me that God still comes. Even in an imperfect world with less than ideal circumstances, Jesus is here. Even with imperfect followers like me, Jesus is at still work in my life.

Grace is amazing, because it doesn’t depend on human effort or ability. It’s something God does. So when Peter tells me to set my hope fully on grace, that sounds like good news. God isn’t flawed, like I am. He is constant. Perfect. Loving. Full of grace and willing to give it out, to me.

And now suddenly I remember Pastor Justin emphasizing this grace in his sermon. He said grace was half of the Rubik’s cube sides. Maybe I didn’t miss as much as I thought.