trust. practice. faith. repeat. not necessarily in that order. through the ages, a common challenge – faith without seeing. ‘we’ are no different now than ‘they’ were ‘back then.’ faith. it’s ambiguous.
it’s funny. you might think that the most faith-reinforcing moments come during a service and this true for some. as a minister of music for three decades, i have always sought to create those moments for others…when all things come together: music, lyrics, emotion to amplify the words (and the word) spoken in the service and resonate within someone’s heart and reinforce their feelings of faith. it is a job i take seriously; sometimes you only have one chance to help connect a service with a person’s heart, one chance to reassure, one chance to raise awareness, one chance to have them ask questions within their faith, to challenge their assumptions for and otherwise.
for me, though, the most faith-reinforcing moments are outside of the faith-based venue, be it a church, temple, cathedral, mosque. they are the moments that i can feel the hugeness of this universe of God and my absolute tiny-ness within it: walking in the woods, standing in the sunlight, looking out on a mountain, holding hands, seeing the moon rise over the lake, watching the surf, seeing love pass between two people’s eyes, hearing my children’s voices, finding the right chord for a song, eating breakfast on the deck in the sun with cardinals, hearing music swell…
as a minister of music, i have heard a lot of sermons and been at an un-countable number of services. think about it. (and this is not counting all the years not spent in this position, nor does it count all the extra services at certain times of the year…you’re thinking, “ok, ok, ohmygosh, we get it!” ) so thirty years multiplied by 52 weeks multiplied by at least two services a sunday (sometimes three, but we will round it to two, as you roll your eyes.) that equals 3,120 services and sermons. and let me just mention, some have been…ummm…way better than others. so you would likely deduce that i would know all the stories of the old and new testaments pretty well by now. well, i beg to differ with you. for me, those stories are peripheral.
what really counts for me is the stuff you can’t see with your eyes, the things you can only experience: love, kindness, peace, generosity… simplicities. complexities. these are the foundations of my faith. faith in goodness. faith in being held. faith in grace. choosing actions that are life-giving. knowing that if i fail today, i can try again tomorrow. walking the broken road, faithfully believing that there is a higher power that i can’t see but i can experience. one that surrounds me in my joy and in my pain. ptom, in his lenten sermon the other evening, said, “God is for you.” it takes a little (read: a lot of) practice; it’s a new day every new day. but i believe.
sometimes faith takes a little practice ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood