April 16, 2003, 7:34 am
Filed under: uncategorized

I want to live a life of amazement. Not in the sense that I would produce anything amazing (although I do make a fine quiche), but that I would see God at work and just capture the moment with nothing more than a gasp. The only thing I can compare that kind of feeling to is the few times I’ve been able to see Phil Keaggy play a live solo concert – just him, an acoustic guitar, and a small rack of low-tech effects. I’ve met the man, and he’s really cool and loves God a lot, but quite honestly, dude is a freak. I watch him play guitar and have no idea where he comes up with that stuff. In talking with him, I know that he feels the same way about it. Truth be told, he really doesn’t know much about how to play the guitar. I attended a Q&A session once where a bunch of wannabe guitar players were asking all these questions about where he learned this technique or that – they’d use technical terms like, “Phil, who taught you that harmonic bridge modulated fingerboard fret willy?” He would get a weird look on his face and simply say, “What’s that?”, not knowing that there was an actual term for some little thing he did to make his guitar sing. In that same session, he admitted that he was just then learning how to read a music sheet (even though he had already been a world class player for 15 years), and really the only reason he was bothering with that is that he was teaching his kid and figured it would set a good example. What gives the man pleasure is to just play, to create something on the fly that he’s never done before and probably won’t ever do again. That people gawk in amazement is amusing to him.

This morning I’m reflecting on how simple this Jesus life is, and yet so profound and full of mystery. I so often fail to see the simplicity of it, and thus miss out on the mystery of it. I’ve become so much a product of my culture and training that I approach scripture with a powerless and sterile view – formulas and systems for everything. I have completely missed out on the depth of God when I focus on whether I am spiritually gifted as a prophet or apostle or teacher, when I spend time thinking through forms of worship and structures of church administration. God has done the unexplainable in my life – he’s looked at me with the love of a perfect father, and he’s given me an amazing gift. To try to formulize this gift and boil it down into a sure-fire, easy to follow, step by step process is to dishonor the gift. My goal in life ought to be to regularly arrive at places of wonder and awe, to have something of God come alive in me and respond by saying, “Woooooow!! Nooooo waaaaaay! That is soooooooo cool! Duuuuude!!! God, I can’t believe it – you’re awesome. Where do come up with this stuff?!”


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