Feel like maybe I should have blogged this sooner. It is the most important part of life, after all.
When I started this particular blog, I was aware that some folks would read the title and hastily lump me in with a generic concept of who Christians are. I would challenge anyone to read on though, and try to be open-minded to the fact that a genuine search for spiritual understanding is anything but generic.
My life has been surrounded by Christian influence for as long as my memory can serve. When I was a kid, my Dad had been a full time pastor for a lengthy period of time before he went into the music biz. I was taught about God’s love at a young age and consistently through my upbringing. I suppose it would be easy for someone to assume that I so readily profess my faith now because I was raised in church by Christian parents. While I’m sure that’s a contributing factor, it’s not so simple as that.
My childhood church experiences may not be the norm. Dad’s ministry usually took him on the road and we traveled with him so I had no “home church”, so to speak. And when the time came for Dad to leave the ministry he still held bible studies in our home. So the example set for me was not very churchy. I was encouraged to find a unique, personal relationship and understanding about how God related to life through Dad’s influence and my Mom’s insistence to simply read my Bible. This is probably why I may not be so much “religious” but more “relationship” minded. So yes, my parents guided me toward seeking understanding about God, Faith, and Love even if it were a bit unconventional. But I think it’s safe to say there have been plenty of young people who turned away from matters of Faith despite or even because of their parents desires.
So then, why Christianity? Why not simply a monotheistic philosopher with vague but feel-good ideas about God and life? Or something with a mystical flare like a Buddhist? I have asked myself the same question. Could I live a life of believing in a Supreme Being, or even the Spiritual realm, without buying into the whole Jesus thing? In full disclosure, I tried that for a while too. But there was something about about a Savior of all humanity -born in seemingly impossible circumstances, who taught love against all odds, and died a horrific, torturous death and then came back from the dead – that drew me in. It was a concept bigger than my mind could fully grasp and in some ways that is exactly what we all need.
Another draw for me is that as a songwriter, I am an observer of human nature, struggles, and life in general. The spiritual beliefs of an individual provides exponential insight as to how they endure circumstances, good or bad. So I can’t turn a blind eye to the significance of an individual’s beliefs or lack thereof; our intentional, consistent choice to believe or shun the existence of life beyond the 5 physical senses. It seems to me that each person will ultimately choose what they worship either willingly or by default. The person who claims no religion or spiritual beliefs is truly only worshiping the tangible, material world because it is their focus in life. These choices and the effects thereof contribute to the ethos of stories and characters, real and imagined, which find their way into songs. So, in a way we are all writing our own song, each day.
Probably though, one of the most personal reasons I seek spiritual understanding is the simple truth that Christianity in it’s purest form is selflessness. At the youthful age of 40, I have taken a hard look at my “life goals”. Can’t say I liked what I saw. So much of what I prioritized in life was about me and the way I wanted to use my time and energy. It was glaringly obvious that I was not allowing room in life to serve folks around me. Christ gave two main commandments and I had failed to commit to 50% of those two. “Recalculating” (in GPS voice) is what I heard in my head as I perceived it was time adjust life goals.
So this is where I am in life; I don’t pretend to know what God has in mind and I don’t spend much time considering streets of gold or pearly gates. There are times when my behavior does not always represent my beliefs. But I “recalculate” back onto course of who I really am. I am simply a man who wants the world to have more hope and I want my kids to know where to look for hope. And that is what Almighty God, who is Love, is to us.
So there’s my perspective on seeking understanding, purpose, and of course hope, in life. I plan to “hope on” and may you do the same!