One of my favourite bands was a hardcore band called “means”. I had a couple friends from teenage years that were in the band but it wasn’t relationships that caused this affinity. It was the music, the band, the scene that they belonged to and the lyrics. Whether you like hardcore music or not to be in the room in Regina at a means show was hard to describe. There were other good bands that came through town, bigger bands even, but when means took the stage everything changed. This was never more true than their final show at the UofR in Regina. Since that final show a few years back my excitement and love for their music has not lessened at all. I still find myself putting on We Dwell in Possibility and reliving those days (I may even have it on right now!)
A lot has happened since those days. I have grown, my family has grown, my friends have grown and my taste in music has grown. You’re probably more likely to find indie Americana or top 40’s pop music played in my house these days. More than anything else though it has been my understanding of God that has grown. In my hardcore show days I had no understanding of reality. I had been living a pretty charmed life and because of that God was one dimensional. I was a one dimensional Christian. I hadn’t hit crisis. I had hit hardship so I hadn’t needed to know anything more.
Since these days my family has known sickness, death, depression and sorrow in a way that we didn’t know existed. This brings you back down to reality really quickly. Having your feet firmly planted on the ground changes how you perceive possibility. When depression and anxiety are crushing someone in your family and you can’t pray it away, no matter how many hours a day you spend praying, the possibility of what life could be changes significantly. Possibility in those days, was a day of peace. Just one.
Today life has changed again. Depression no longer rules our daily lives, God has once again shown himself in new ways and I find myself in a movement that I have dreamt about my whole life. A movement of people that are so in love with Jesus that they would lay everything down, their pride, inhibitions, self-doubt, careers, callings, money, homes, cities and so much more for the sake of God’s dream – to build his glorious church. Although I am writing full of faith and hope, I am also still very grounded in our reality.
Reflecting with a brother about where we are currently and where we have been for the last couple years he made this statement “we love to live in the possibilities of what we will become.” We laughed and agreed that this was true. We, as far as movements go, are nobodies. No one outside of our former denomination and our families even know who we are. We aren’t growing, or changing the nation – at least not in a way anyone could see. Yet I believe that this is our call. We are meant to be nation changers. We are meant to live out the gospel and see the world take note of who Jesus is. Isn’t this what the whole church is called to? I hope so.
Young people, young Christians, young movements dwell in possibility. The what could be is more important, or at very least more exciting than the what is. We have our heads in the clouds and we want to. We’re dreamers, full of vision and hope for the future. Always believing for the ideal. The grounding is about reality. Reality is a lot less fun. It’s about seeing the hear and now, the sin, death, poverty, sorrow and the pain this world has. Over the years of ups and downs, of moving back and forth between possibility and reality I have learned that it is immaturity that makes us believe we can only live in one. We are called to live in possibility, the hope of the future, the head in the clouds type faith but we are just as called to the here and now, to God making an impact on people today, showing his love and care for the broken and the hurting people of this world. These are not at odds as they seem. They are two sides of the same coin.
It isn’t weakness to have your head in the clouds, it’s also not necessarily wisdom to have your feet on the ground. You were born for both. The dichotomy is a racket. It doesn’t exist. Paul teaches us that we have been baptized into Christ. We have been made one with him who is ascended into heaven and is seated as our Sovereign King. We are also his witness on this earth. We were created for both. Keep your head in the clouds and let Christ’s heavenly reality shape and form you into the loving, compassionate witness for Christ on this earth that you were meant to be.
This is what I believe living sacramental lives is all about. To live in the natural creation while interacting with the divine. This is possible when we believe that the Eternal Word of God was incarnate. That the heavens and the earth are not separate as they appear. That the Holy Spirit comes upon us and the gifts of God’s creation, the bread and wine, as the Eucharistic liturgy tells us. Just as it is for us.