Today I went to church just like every Sunday. I forgot to eat breakfast so I ate a packet of trail mix as I set up the keyboard and mic stands. I introduced the congregation to a new song that I wrote.
I sat down for the sermon and my phone lit up with a CNN notification. Mass shooting in a Texas church.
The news feels like too much to allow myself to try and feel. And I feel selfish and privileged to be able to separate myself from that pain. But it feels like lately I've been getting way too many CNN notifications on my phone that leave me feeling just like this. Vegas, hurricanes, terrorism, earthquakes, fires.
This event was particularly striking to me though. To be in a church at the very moment the news came in and so be able to imagine all the more what it would be like for that holy moment to be interrupted by such horror. These are our fellow believers in Christ.
Every day reading lately I feel God call me to live differently, to live my life holier. I feel like He's showing me how Ezekiel's Israelite I am and He's calling me away from that. I feel like God is reminding me to make Him central and to pray that I would be completely absorbed with Jesus. That I would have one single pursuit in this life: Jesus.
He's been talking to me about mission and ministry. To go out into the world and make disciples. I am to be a light in this world.
And today as I think and pray about this tragedy I want my reaction, my response, my mindset to be distinctly Christian. I want to know how Jesus feels, what He thinks, I want to know what He is doing.
I know that sounds like the classic response "God, where are You?" when something bad happens. But I'm not talking about a hopeless cry towards something unknown, I'm talking about wanting to be in communion with the living God I know for a fact is here and working and doing something.
And I actually think, in an odd way, it's the perfect way to introduce what I've been thinking about doing in November. In preparation for Thanksgiving I wanted to dedicate some time every day in my blog posts to be grateful.
When it comes to Thanksgiving every year I get so caught up in the plans that I don't actually take very much time to actually practice gratitude. So I'd like to practice gratitude in the days leading up to it.
Gratitude: For a God who knows what He's doing. For a God who works in ways we can't ever understand. For a God who is working for us. For a God who doesn't ever make us wait too long.