Saturday, January 06, 2007

let's keep doing it

At the beginning of Rich Mullin's album, A Liturgy, a Legacy & a Ragamuffin Band (1993), prior to the first song, "Here in America", the band is getting ready to start. One clears their throat and says, "...I'm barely ready to do this, but let's keep doing it, so don't get mad at me." I believe Rich's voice intercepts that with "Alright. Amen," amidst a laugh. Another says something like, "That's the way we all feel."

I think there is some proverbial-like kind of wisdom in this. Yesterday I received news of a personal nature (not health, nor my own employment; the first two places your thoughts may go). After dealing with it, expressing my thoughts, but then coming to accept it, I experienced a peace, an unusual sense of peace in my heart and mind, uninterrupted for that time. Certainly of God's amazing grace. But later when I found something the way I don't like it, that struck a kind of irrational fear in my heart (ha, I won't go into details here; probably under the category more than less of personal idiosyncrasies), that experiential peace was gone. It was so striking before. Helping me through a kind of mini-crisis in my mind. But now just as striking in the opposite direction. Fear used to be a factor in my experiential life, in "my heart", holding me back. Now it seldom appears to that degree, though it does once in awhile. Here it was (and is- haha) in full force again!

So I try to do the spiritual disciplines, as I do them. And I do believe strongly in regularity in doing that. And I add extra prayer. And seek to put into practice some of the helpful things the Lord is teaching me recently. But to no avail. I still have that fear in my heart, that makes me feel like a muddler.

What comes to mind as I think about a couple of possibilites for a post this morning? This. This reminder. In spite of felt and known inadequacy, "Let's keep doing it." Yes. Just keep doing it. When you don't feel like doing whatever you believe God has called you to do, or what he has put in front of you to do, or what your hand has found to do (Ecclesiastes), go ahead and do it anyhow. With all your heart, even if you feel weak.

The kind of service God blesses is oftentimes done with a true sense of weakness. Paul is a great example of that. And he points to our Lord as the supreme example of that. So let's press on. In the love of God. In the faithfulness of God. In the communion of the saints, God's people. Let's keep doing it!

Any thoughts or testimonies here?

6 comments:

Allan R. Bevere said...

Ted:

Your post reminds me of a gospel song I haven't heard in years that is entitled, "Keep on Keeping On."

I usually say it less theologically: "Put your head down and keep moving through it."

Thanks!

karen said...

Ted:
I had one of those moments yesterday. Not fear so much as just frustration. I took a moment to get those feelings out -- reminding God of the things it seemed to me he'd overlooked, like how hard it is to keep going when there's little if any affirmation that you are headed in the right direction. I even went so far as to suggest God might want to show up for my life. Then, once I spit out all that frustration, I took a moment to remind myself that God was showing up, even when I couldn't necessarily "feel it or see it." All that to say, I think God isn't put off by our fears or our frustrations. This is what faith is about, isn't it? Choosing to believe in the unseen in spite of the obvious?

Dr. D said...

Ted fear is a hard one - on one hand, respect (rendered fear in the translation) for God is the beginning of wisdom, which makes sense since God is Almighty. On the other hand, fear is the opposite in many regards, of faith. It is hard to balance - but in Peter's getting out of the boat we have a great picture of the balancing act, how it can get quickly out of hand, and the solution which it does...he called upon Jesus to save him. Anyhow...keep posting..it's nice.

Ted Gossard said...

Allan, Sometimes a song can come to me from the past and really minister to me. When the Lord seems to be working on me in regard to something that sometimes happens to me, as well. Thanks.

Ted Gossard said...

Karen, Thanks for sharing your experience in this with us. Good words, and very true. In fact, surely God is at work in our lives in ways we can't really comprehend, in the more difficult times and trials. Like Job. And during those times it's important for us to remember that.

Ted Gossard said...

Dr. D, Thanks. I see the fear of the Lord and faith as in agreement. But a different fear, as in running away from God, like Adam and Eve after they sinned, in the garden, as not in agreement with faith.

The kind of fear we need ends up making us secure in God, as we embrace it, and live in it. Maybe a good word for fear in that is something like awe, or wonder. With the knowledge that this same great God is our Father.

Peter seems to have responded to the wonder of Jesus walking on the water with faith. But then another kind of wonder took over. "How can I be walking on this tumultuous sea?!??" And faith is gone. (Faith, here, as in that called for in Scripture of the human response to God's Word and revelation)

Thanks for those thoughts.