Better Than Expected Feb09


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Better Than Expected

"Play With Me" by ViaMoi

I love it when something turns out better than I had expected.  I’m currently reading, [amazon_link id=”B002NOGFDC” target=”_blank” ]”It’s All About God” (by  Samir Selmanovic)[/amazon_link], along with some other folks at GracePointe and, chapter after chapter, it’s taking me by surprise–in a wonderful way!  Reading this book has been like hearing a good piece of music and being lifted up by intelligently-crafted harmonies and melodies of someone who has “heard” his own music while respecting the music of others as well. Selmanovic knows which faith-song he sings.  But in comparing faith to music he finds the harmonies and melodies of others enriching as well, warning against the rigidity of religious/artistic solipsism. From page 114:

“There is a wide spectrum of ways human beings idolize certainty about God.  At one end of the spectrum-the less violent end-are people who are deeply concerned about the integrity of their religion, theology, practice, and tradition, so they act as the guardians of these things.  They see their belief system as a symphony that needs to be reined in instead of played out, a complex but controllable piece of music that encompasses everything one can know about God.  Instead of feeding their soul on the music itself, these religious conductors use a tremendous amount of energy and resources to control the orchestra of their belief and practice. Preoccupied and often exhausted by the God talk of their religion, they stop listening to the music.  The Beloved wants to play and dance and kiss and caress, but they are too busy managing the orchestra and the score.”

This resonates so deeply with me having spent my whole life writing and recording music.  Music is about both spontaneity and discipline.  There are agreed-upon presuppositions and rules (time, key, pitch, dynamics) but when the music flows the rules are virtually unconscious.  Religious people who are all about the structure, the rules, the boundaries, the text, never hear the music.  How sad is that?

I like the music that comes from Jesus’ life, his teachings, and especially the way he treated people.  It “sings” for me.  It wins me over like a good piece of music does.  My soul can feast on that.

Magic! between the trees by Luc B

It’s so great when things turn out better than expected.  I think that’s what the word “gospel” is supposed to mean.  It’s a God-revelation that turns out better than expected.  It’s a spiritual insight that becomes an “a-ha” moment.  It’s a sense of peace and comfort that’s beyond understanding.  It’s a resonance that floods the soul like a beautiful song.  When religious-talk fails to do that it’s the first sign to me that something is wrong about it.  Even if it sounds holy. Especially if it sounds “holy.”

“The story of the universe is a love story,” Selmanovic says.  “Held by our mother when we are young, held by our lover when we are adults, held by our child when we are old–whenever we are held, by a nurse, friend, or a kind stranger, we experience this story of the universe.”

As the old vintage hymn says, “I love to tell the story, because I know it’s true.  It satisfies my longing, like nothing else can do.”   I like it when Jesus says that the last will become first.  I like knowing that the humble will inherit the earth. I like death being swallowed up in victory.  I like resurrections that get the last laugh.  This is music that my soul wants to feed on.  Maybe it’s because all these things turn out better than expected.  I don’t know.   But I like it.

The authors' blogs are their own beliefs in their own words. If you wish to know more about what GracePointe Church believes, visit our main site for more details.