My plan as a Christian was to be good, to be one that God would want as His own, to prove myself to Him. The times I wasn't good, where I blatantly did not behave in a manner pleasing to Him, I watched the rope that I desperately clung to slipping away. In those times I relaxed my grip, slowly letting the rope slip from my hands, quietly giving up, walking away and fearing the next time I might not make it back.
But that is not what He has planned for us. All those times of scratching and clawing and the frustration in never being good enough for Him, that is not the plan He had for me, not the plan He has for any of us. Because like the father of the prodigal son, the father who at his time, in his country, should not have allowed the embarrassment of the son's life to be brought back into his home; or if he did allow him in, the son should have fallen on his knees and kissed the feet of an expressionless and unbending father. But no, the father ran to the son who still smelled of pigs, kissed him and brought him home and threw him a celebration.
As Philip Yancey said: "In one of His last acts before death, Jesus forgave a thief dangling on a cross, knowing full well the thief had converted out of plain fear. That thief would never study the Bible, never attend synagogue or church, and never make amends to all those he had wronged. He simply said 'Jesus, remember me,' and Jesus promised, 'Today you will be with me in paradise.' It was another shocking reminder that grace does not depend on what we have done for God but rather what God has done for us."