Spiritual grounding is essential in today’s maddening and chaotic world. Cephas hour, which is usually a weekly podcast, features some of the most popular Christian music and pop, and, more recently, commentary from me. Said commentary is reprinted below along with music videos for a few of the songs I’ve played this time through.
This week’s episode contains musings on youth and experience. Please forgive any “get off my lawn” vibes. There are also some throwbacks that long-standing listeners will enjoy. And in case you’re listening to the show and wondering what’s going on at the beginning, it’s a dedication to a dear friend who lives in Australia.
Listen to the whole show online, subscribe via Apple, Google or iHeart, and listen on-demand.
When I got ready for my day job, it was the other morning that God moved me to pray. Not a quick “Hey, God, You got this — catch up with you later” prayer. You should instead choose the deeper kind. The one that requires you to literally and metaphorically get down on your knees. That’s what I did.
Once I finished, I quickly reminded myself how getting down on your knees doesn’t change much in the difficulty department as the years pass by. But getting up again is a completely different matter.
Perhaps that’s the point. Some things become more difficult as we age. Others are made simpler by wisdom only gained through experience. It’s part of the balance of the body of Christ, the enthusiasm and strength of the young combined with the learned understanding of the old. It is lamentable how so much of the church follows the world’s ways by always seeking the shiny and new rather than valuing and promoting the worn and the wise. I read a quote the other day: “Every time an old person dies, a library burns to the ground.” Wise words. Don’t participate in a pseudo-spiritual Fahrenheit 451.
I once heard someone joke that I knew all of the answers to life by the time I reached 18 and my father was dumbest. By the time I turned 21, I still had all the answers … but it was amazing how much the old man had smarted up in three years.
Most of us who’ve been around a bit remember the heady days of our youthful zeal when we knew everything God had in store for us and everyone else. Even though He used fax and telegram to communicate back then, His communication with us was still effective. We thought so.
Do you ever wish you knew what God was up to in your life, even though you know that if you did, you’d undoubtedly mess it up somehow? There is much truth to the adage that none of us have sufficient power to ruin God’s plan for our life. Still, while we know there’s a reason why God doesn’t send us a text or tweet or Snapchat or TikTok video every morning outlining His preferred agenda for us for the day, there will be times we wryly smile and whisper to the heavens, “I wouldn’t mind if you did.” And then we get on with it.
Youth and experience are vital components of a church. One of the items only experience teaches, those who’ve learned the lesson invariably attempting to teach the inexperienced and invariably failing in their efforts, is the difference between understanding that what you don’t know, you don’t know … and that you do not know what you do not know. Allow me to explain.
Most people have an inkling or a basic understanding of the things we’re not trained in. You will not be able to perform surgery unless your doctor is a skilled and competent surgeon.
We don’t have any idea of how off-base our presumptions are regarding that which we have not yet experienced. Although we are able to speculate and guess, it is difficult for us not to role-play. But we don’t know. We’ll never be able to know until it occurs.
This is why there is little patience among those who grieve for those who don’t understand grief. It’s easy to tell the person who has lost a loved one who was a believer to be of good cheer, they’re not really dead, and you’ll see them again in Heaven. There are many truths in all of this. However, it is not possible to fully understand.
You young yappers or yammerers should call me immediately after the funeral. Call me when there’s a face and voice forever burned into your heart attached to the name in the obituary column. Call me when you’re stripped bare by unimaginable, unrecoverable loss. Only then will you be able to understand the pain of mourning. Heaven is a place of magic and loss. Until you personally know the latter, don’t speak of the former.