Friday, October 23, 2015

A Place in the Choir

1 Corinthians 12

"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work." v 4-6

When I was an elementary student many decades ago, Mr. Chapman, my music teacher taught us many a fine tune. One of my favorites we sang was "All God's Creatures Have a Place in the Choir." The chorus was ever so much fun to sing, but what really appealed to my gangly gawky elementary self were the lyrics. That prickly porcupine? Yes, God intended him that way. Every creature had a divinely designated place. Each was meant to be, just the way they were. 

The song evoked a sense of purpose and place within my chest as I sang it. Somewhere between my awkward elementary self belting out that tune in my enthusiastically albeit creaky voice, and here, in middle age, I have lost that assurance. Doubt has crept in like a fog filling once clear places with uncertainty.
Am I supposed to be here? Am I really making an impact? Does my contribution matter? Does my life make a difference?  I think back to one of my favorite movies it's a Wonderful Life in which George Baliey, the main character, gets the "gift" of seeing what the world would be like without him in it after proposing it would, "Be better if I'd have never been born."

After this wish Clarence takes George on an emotionally charged journey through a George-less world. George sees no matter how dire his present circumstances are, a world without him in it is NOT a better outcome. He realizes he is living a "Wonderful Life." Wouldn't it be interesting to glimpse what the world would have been without me in it? I would love to gain that reassurance that the ripples of my life are buoying others positively along. However, this isn't a fictional cinematic feature; I don't have that view into my own story. So what to do when that doubt leeches in zapping the positive vibrancy of life? I find myself in need of frequent reminders as the circumstances of life situations erode away at what I want to believe is true. Remind Me Who I Am. Songs are inspiring, and beyond that action may be the cure for doubt. "Action will remove the doubt that theory cannot solve." Pehyl Hsieh So I act. Like my gawky elementary self I allow my actions to sing, even if they are off-key, and surrender to the assurance that even if I don't FEEL like it I am right where I am supposed to be.