Well, our fall is almost at an end. Our magic car finally acted, turning into a life raft. We have no motor, no sail, and no oars, but we’re alive and safe. Our raft will be carried on by the currents. We will reach land, but probably not right away. Now that we’ve just about touched the water, I’ve realized how inadequately prepared I was for this part of the journey to continue. I was under the impression that this in between state would be relatively short. Caleb is talented, passionate, and hard working. We stepped out in faith, believing that God would do something, that he would take us to a place we didn’t yet know to do great things for his glory.
I didn’t expect to end up in a place with which I am very familiar that I was thrilled to leave for good last August. I didn’t expect to be living in my in-laws guest room, unsure of how I’m going to get the energy to write. I didn’t expect to be relieved by the prospect. I have to sit and wait. I won’t have to steer a motor boat or try to figure out that whole harnessing the wind thing or row with all my might. I have to sit and wait for God to lead us where we’re going. It’s more restful. It also takes a lot more faith than driving off a cliff ever did.
We like to talk about big acts of faith in the church. Abraham leaving for Canaan or sacrificing Isaac. Moving mountains. Giving up all your possessions and following Jesus. Stepping out on the water. We like to talk about the riskiness of faith, of missionaries who left everything to serve, of martyrs who stayed strong to the end. We push towards climaxes. We try to create climactic experiences in life with conferences and mission trips, altar calls and re-commitments. Even our music heads this direction. Take the song “Oceans”. The bridge, a call for the Holy Spirit to lead us to a deeper faith experience is repeated six times. Six. Times. And every time, the music gets louder and more overwhelming until the lead singer is left wailing at the top of her lungs. The official video by Hillsong lasts for nine minutes.
But what if faith is more than that? What if faith is less of a big risk and more of a daily reliance? Abraham waited for Issac for thirty years. That means his faith was a daily occurrence. And frankly, he didn’t do it perfectly. Ishmael, the cause of family turmoil then and now, came from a lack of daily faith. There are four hundred years of silence between the Old and New Testament. That means the Jewish people had to have faith that God did exist and would send the Messiah (many are still waiting). What about the faith of the early church to steward their money well so they could give to the poor who needed it? Or dealing with the daily persecutions before outright executions?
What if we as a church focused less on big commitments and exciting movements and more on daily life? Not, how can I do the biggest thing, but how can I be part of a series of little things? What if our music sounded less like “Oceans” but more like Godspell’s “Day by Day”, a song which repeats not to build to a climax, but to show the continuous journey? What if Caleb and I could be encouraged not with stories of all the big exciting things that will come, but what it means to wait for the slow passage of waves to lead us to where we’re meant to be?