Thursday, 29 August 2013

The Blessings of Real Life

"And all of my todays seem like they're rushing by so fast
And every time I look around, I pray that it will last." ~Lincoln Brewster
As I was driving home tonight from band practice, I was listening to a song called “Real Life”, by Lincoln Brewster. I’ve loved this song ever since I heard it almost three years ago; but tonight, maybe because I had just spent an hour and a half hanging out with some of my best friends, it put me in a nostalgic mood. Have a listen and see what I mean.

So as I was driving home, with my high beams cutting through the darkness and raindrops pecking at my windshield, I thought about my life so far. I’m not old, although sometimes I feel like I’ve seen more than my share of both joys and sorrows, and had experiences that some people twice my age haven’t had. I’ve had my share of ups and downs, good times and bad. I’ve known sickness, health, friendship, betrayal, doubt, comfort, insecurity, and confidence. Maybe I’m an ordinary person; somehow, though, I wonder what I did for God to give me an awesome life like this. I’m living in a province that I never wanted to move to in the first place, attending a church that I ran from almost two years ago and that God brought me back to after the worst eight months of my life (maybe someday I will feel free enough to share about some of those valleys), and I’m loving every minute of it. I’m not that great of a singer (at least, in my opinion) and yet, I have the privilege of being in Driftwood Cross. I’m not a great speaker; but yet, I’ve been invited to speak as a guest in my church. I’m not a great leader; and yet, leadership opportunities are opening to me daily (I’m not free to share about some of them yet; that will come in the future).

The weird thing about me is, I’m not a “fitting in” kind of person. I’m not like anybody I know. But yet, I “fit in” better at Open Door than I do anywhere else. Maybe because we’re a church of “misfits.” Maybe, being different is how we fit; all of us. Maybe we’re like puzzle pieces; each of us has one particular place that we fit in, and nowhere else. Maybe.

Tonight, I sat in a living room with three men who are about as different from each other as different can be. We played music and sang, laughed and shared. Even just four short months ago, I never would have dreamed of this. I have a wild imagination, and anyone that knows me well will tell you so. But I never could have imagined this: listening to Bob solo on his guitar, watching Jim shuffle through a stack of papers and say, “How about if we play it like this?”, laughing at Larry making up song lyrics on the spot or rolling my eyes at his teasing, and feeling so overwhelmingly blessed. Maybe, to someone on the outside looking in, we would look like just any ordinary worship band holding a practice. But they would be wrong. This, is an ordinary miracle. The simple kind of ones that God randomly drops from heaven just because He loves His kids.

And, to someone like me, it’s the biggest privilege of my life. Being involved. Being a part of something. “Fitting.” Belonging.  Somehow. Someway. In a place that I thought I had left behind me forever, with people I thought I would never see again. But God moved mountains (and one very reluctant 21-year-old) and brought me home again. And now I sit back and sigh with contentment, and let these lyrics by Lincoln Brewster drift through my mind:

"This is Real Life, and it’s real good; it’s a place I took for granted, ‘cause I just never understood. And there is real pain, and there are real tears. But the way my Father loves me, is the reason I am here. This is real life.”

And every time I walk into Open Door, I’m reminded once again; life is short. We never know what twists and turns it’s going to make. We need to appreciate what we have before us, because tomorrow it could be gone. I’ve experienced that very thing too many times to ever forget it.

But that’s real life.

And it’s pretty good.

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