Monday, August 1, 2011

Getting to the Other Side

The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” And he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side.

Now they had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?” Mark 8:11-21

We took time recently to travel to Nazareth (PA) and visited the Martin guitar factory. This is something I have always wanted to do. My guitar is wonderful, an Alvarez, but I have secretly, or not so secretly, harbored a desire to own a Martin. I also am fascinated with the craft of instrument making and all that goes along with it. We had a fabulous tour, an hour almost, watching every part of the guitar making process. Although there are some robotics involved these days, most everything is still done by hand. We could see how much pride these folks take in their work, how careful they are with each instrument, and how tedious it might be to work there. Our guide kept saying you have to have a passion for the work. And I thought, you have to have good strong hands, with great coordination. And you have to trust the process, the slow, careful, process.

The disciples were in the boat with Jesus trying to get to the other side, literally and spiritually. They had all the evidence that God was with them, caring for the small and great in their lives, and yet they were convinced. They didn't trust the process. They didn't yet have the skill and the strength to live a life of faith, a life of a well turned instrument maker, able to turn the plainest of days into a glorious canvas for God's praise. They were able to see the possibilities, only the lack - like most us. We can only experience the ache and desire, the hunger and the wanting, and can't imagine the generosity and music of the Creator. We never get to the other side, where trusting God for everything comes as naturally as breathing.

Today, I want to live life on the other side, to practice and pray, trusting God for everything. I am not naturally trusting, but I ask God to remake me so that all of my moments are a life lived in trust and praise. I want to offer all my feeble attempts at music and other expressions as a gift to God, trusting that God will make them more than they are, enough for the needs of the day. "In our music God is glorified."

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