New Hope Guest Blogger: Paul Ikeda
Just wanted to share what’s been going on with my journey through this lent, the first I might add I’ve ever attempted to observe.
On Day 1 I instantiated the goal to run 150 miles, not for weight loss mind you, but to re-achieve that clarity of thought, quality “God time”, and oneness with God’s awesome creation. that I knew form college. Things really did start off well and I was on pace for my goal, but it wasn’t until the last few weeks did I realize that maybe God had something else in mind for me.
A week of travel in Canada and another week of sickness, specifically with my throat/lungs effectively prevented me from continuing my running. I am disheartened that I won’t be able to meet my original goal, but also am excited to embrace what I believe God is instead placing on my heart (it’s not like I won’t be able to pick up running again later). I feel that the purpose of lent isn’t to wrap yourself up in the exactness of what you’ve given up (i.e. if you fail or give in at some point, the whole season of lent if ruined), but is for particularly focusing on what God is trying to say or lead by blocking out some kind of worldly distraction of temptation. For me it seems, this has turned out to be more about music and worship, not running.
I love to sing in the car, i do it all the time. I love to sing at home with my guitar. Shower, chores, etc. Singing is so much a part of my life now that I forget how important it is – until you can’t. These past few weeks have been taxing on me because I haven’t been able to sing as I normally do and I miss it. I yearn for it, and God knows I’ve taken it for granted. More specifically, I know I’ve let worship, the intimate and passionate moments that should be spent glorifying God, become trite and mundane. There’s nothing unusually sacred about Chris Tomlin’s single “I Will Follow”, but when I sing it because I know the words or because I like the melody, then isn’t there something fundamentally wrong with its purpose?
In short, God has provided this time for me to step back from routine and repetition to break from singing. I believe this time will help breathe the passion and sincerity that may have gone missing back into my words when I do sing. The last thing I want is to become the religious robot that is oblivious to the true meaning on the song I am singing. I pray on Easter, God is pleased to hear my voice again in the chorus of angels singing his praise.