December 11, 2004


a temper known to these who, after long
and weary expectation, have been blest
with sudden happiness beyond all hope.
- William Wordsworth

I wanna sing tonight, loud, unrestrained, with no attempt at aesthetic excellence. I wanna sing my song because it is beautiful, the type of beauty to which no trained voice can add. I wanna sing because I live. Imagine the cries a dying man who finds an oasis in the middle of the desert and you can imagine my song. I wanna sing with Asaph,

“My feet came close to stumbling;
My steps had almost slipped.
As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”

Listen to a well-dressed and respected man confidently offer his own answers to your questions that live inside your brain. And when his Godless philosophy--anathema to all you hold dear--is pleasing to they eye and satisfying to the intellect, let yourself feel the doubt swelling. His answers--Godless, mysteryless--promise you more than a "be still and know." For a few moments stop pretending the non-existence of your doubt; let it step into the light. Stare unflinching at the doubt that has followed you in the shadows for a long, long time. Go ahead and admit, like Asaph did, that you feel uncertain when wicked men “are not in trouble as other men; nor are they plagued like mankind.” Hiding your doubts certainly won’t help anything. Remove the rose-colored glasses. Take your mind off the facade of confidence and healthy "spirituality" you work so diligently to maintain, and face the doubt.

I, a lifelong control freak, want answers. Now. I demand a ready-made answer to every nagging doubt that enters my head. I want spiritual growth to be easy. I want to answer an altar call and follow four simple steps to recovery.

And it's not quite that easy.

All I'm left to do is believe. Sometimes I don't get an answer to my questions. My answer remains "be still and know that I am God." I can and must believe in the only one to whom I can say:

"Yet I am always with you;
You hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever."

So tonight I sing. I sing of the one whose nearness is my good.

Posted by jonsligh at 11:05 AM | Comments (13)