Debt is a concept where one receives favor from another usually in the form of money, but also in deeds of service. Often these debts are expected to be repaid; however, many times they cannot be equally meted or reimbursed.
I have been both the giver and receiver of grace. A conduit of this thing that blesses us with love, acceptance, forgiveness, kindness, and peace. Holding on to it is impossible because of the pain we experience when it eventually leaves us, but I suspect that allowing it to flow through and enrich all and not only ourselves was the design.
Power is another interesting concept in that it comes in many forms. It can be wealth, beauty, youth, strength, talent, ability, and status. It is something intangible, and yet exists in that object's potential. It's like owning a race car while sitting in traffic on your daily commute. The potential to race other cars is kept in a state of possibility; whereas, the actual performance is simply reduced to a vehicle getting from one point to another. All of these potentialities are fleeting. Newer, faster, more efficient models are introduced each day. The only way to stay on top of power is to keep running on 'a treadmill' of acquisition. More wealth, more beauty, more youth, more strength, more talent, more ability, and more status. It sounds exhausting. One can chase these things to a certain extent, but it's not like we can take any of them to the grave. We've all experienced power in some form or fashion. It's nice to have. We attract the attention, affection, and the good graces of strangers. Who wouldn't want this blessing in job interviews, making friends, or promoting a business?
Power is not inherently a bad thing, but when one covets these things is when it starts to corrupt. Seeking to achieve one's potential and develop themselves is a great thing; however, this accomplishment must be tempered with the knowledge that power is fleeting. Einstein wrote on the theory of relativity and how our concept of time is relative to the universe. What seems like a lifetime to a human being is a spec on the timeline of our galaxy. Muhammad Ali, one of the most 'powerful' human beings to have ever boxed professionally, a civil rights activist, and humanitarian, is quoted as saying "I just want to get into heaven". Having spent nearly half his life suffering from Parkinson's disease, I found his simple wish to "go to heaven" humbling as this was a man who held the highest positions of power in almost every sense. He was human with flaws (like the rest of us) but sincerely did his best to use his power to help the poor and less fortunate. In then end, he graciously accepted his waning health, and prayed for grace from his maker.
In our lives, we come across many people: family, friends, lovers, and acquaintances. We learn from each interaction, both giving and taking. It occurred to me that when we become possessive of these relationships is when we experience the most pain when they eventually end. All relationships are fleeting. We're only here for a relative amount of time and then we're gone. In order to truly be eternal, we must build something that outlasts ourselves. I'm grateful for all the relationships that I've had the good fortune to have found. Some new 'power' was gained from each interaction. To some I have been the lender of grace, and to others I will remain in their debt. At the end of the day, I too wish to go to heaven and if I am to have a shot at it, then I must exhibit the grace that I long to receive.
Whose feet are four and two and three.
So mutable a thing is none that moves in earth or sky or sea.
When on most feet this thing doth go,
Its strength is weakest and its pace most slow."
― Riddle of the Sphinx, Sophocles, Oedipus Rex