[Don’t bypass the + after the number…it gives me more validation]
When I played drums and led communion at Urbana, I thought I was gonna feel this sense of “I’ve made it”. Luckily, I’ve failed enough times to remember that once you exit the stage, it’s back to normal life.
When I stepped off the stage after communion, I was greeted by friends: my bandmates, new IV staff friends, and the program director (Una). They embraced me (that means “hugged really tight”) and honestly didn’t say many words.
I let the emotion die down and said a small prayer of gratefulness and hoping that students renewed and remembered their commitments to Jesus. That was it.
It feels like our Christian culture praises the stage and those on it. We think stage people are the smartest, most holy, put together people. BAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I sure fooled them! 😉
Honestly, I want to be really smart and articulate. I want the likes on social media and to be trending. But I want it less now than I did in previous years. [I’m not trying to be trendy or “humble” when I say this! I really want the clicks to hopefully make money!). LOL
And then I read passages where Paul tells the people of Corinth that our life of faith is a response to God’s power, not our smarts or emotional footwork.
There’s this concept of wisdom in the bible that somehow comes from God. Wisdom is personified as a “She” in the old testament and it’s calling out to us all the time. And then we hear things like, “If you have ears to hear…”
But here’s the thing (I hate this phrase but it rolls off my tongue more than I want to admit): I’ve had enough experiences in life to teach me that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.
The first step in AA is to admit that we’re powerless. Richard Rohr says,
“God seems to have hidden holiness and wholeness in a secret place where only the humble will find it…You will not learn to actively draw upon a Larger Source until your usual resources are depleted and revealed as wanting. In fact, you will not even know there is a Larger Source until your own sources and resources fail you.”Rohr, Richard. Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps (p. 2-3). St. Anthony Messenger Press. Kindle Edition.
Why is the pretense to knowing God or having any inclination of wisdom to live life began with humility? I don’t know! No pun intended. Only that if I pictured myself walking around thinking that I was the smartest and wisest person, I’d be centered on my own self as the sole source.
And there’s the problem! I become the source of wisdom but I’ve made enough mistakes in life to realize I’m not the source.
Jesus spends so much time with the “out-of-luck” down-and-outers, the ones who know they don’t have the resources needed to make due in life.
So I confess as much as I’m aware to God as a way to admit my limitations. I pray in the morning, midday, and evening. Read my bible. Connect with others. Tell Christina when I’ve screwed up (she’s one of my confessors). I go see a therapist. I visit a spiritual director. I struggle to belong to a church community but I show up and sing songs of praise to God, listen to a sermon, and work to be part of communal life.
Praying for wisdom today. Praying to remember that I’m limited in my resources. Praying for deeper wisdom and to see the big picture in all things. Praying for God to help me plant a new church (or more that He plants one and that I can be a part of it). Praying to listen well to others, especially those I hang out with the most (familiarity can sometimes dull curiosity). I just try to pray a lot because it keeps me humble.
Love you all!