Thursday, February 25, 2010

Country Music God...

Lee Ann Womack has a song out right now called, "There is a God." I'm a big Lee Ann fan, but there is something about this song that bothers me and I can't quite put my finger on it. It's a beautiful song, really. The lyrics paint a picture of creation that can only mean one thing; there is a God, and that God has been terribly busy over the millenia creating, and recreating, everything that we see around us.

Lee Ann mentions some of those things in her song and I thought I might mention a couple of them: 100 year old trees that you can't fit your arms around, watching birds fly against the sunset, fireflies, raindrops, new life, and the sound of a river running just to mention a few. She asks the listener then to "stop and think about what you don't understand," but the entire premise of the song is asking the question, "How much proof do you need?" For me, the two ideas live in tension: thinking about what we don't understand and then being asked "How much proof do you need?" I think it bothers me, not because Lee Ann Womack said it, but because Jesus said something very similar once, or at least once.

It happened in a boat one night after a very long day ministering to folks around the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had been teaching all day, talking about lamps and seeds, and trying to explain what the kingdom of God is like. I can imagine there were many confused looks and much head scratching going on in the crowd because he was teaching in parables. Then Jesus and the guys, or guys and gals, got into a boat and headed across the lake, and somewhere along the way they were caught in a storm.

Fear is a funny thing. It can make you say funny things, and I doubt that under different circumstances, the disciples would have said what they did to Jesus. But they said it, and he responded. "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" He got up, probably half disgusted with them, and said, "Quiet! Be still!" And it was over, at least that storm was over.

"Do you still have no faith?" Was that a trick question? Was he fishing for some particular answer? Or, was he asking them, "Have you not seen enough yet to prove to you that there is a God and that Christ was his Son?" Mark tells us a little about what they had seen so far but not a whole lot. Jesus had done some healing (a leper, a paralytic) and had driven out a demon, but mostly a lot of teaching. Still, that question burns in the Galilean night air, and in my ears also.

So I asked myself some questions. "Self," (that's what I call myself,) "self, where are the times that you have questioned whether or not God cared if you drowned?" That was an easy one. I could rattle off a list of those things in a hurry. But then I asked myself, "Where are the times that I couldn't begin to question God's love for me because of the things going on around me?" Funny thing is, some things in my life made both lists. Just something to think about.

May you be filled with the knowledge that God speaks through everyday things and that Christ is in the boat with you.


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