Yesterday I attended a different church than my own and I had the dubious privilege of listening to a “special number” during the church service. The music and voice were not to my taste, but that wasn’t the issue. The theology of the song was. It ran somewhat along these lines:
I walk into the River [meaning God or a relationship with God]
And where it’s going
There’s no way of knowing I
t’s like the wind blowing
I’m out of control because He’s in control.*
The same man had also prayed earlier: “Father God, all our works are like filthy rags in your sight…nothing we do is worth anything to you…” I was deeply disturbed, angry even. All my life I have struggled against the overwhelming feeling that I am worthless and that nothing I do holds any value. I have found freedom in becoming a part of a Mennonite Church Canada congregation and understanding the Anabaptist ideals of social justice, creation care, redemption, and accountability; all of which teach that everything we do has meaning and significance. Everything we are and do has an effect on those around us, the future, ourselves, and even God. I have found a new way of viewing myself and others because I am intrinsically valuable and everything I am and do comes out of that value. God is in control, but God has also given us a role to play, decisions to make, an opportunity to influence our future. It’s that paradox of an omnipotent, omniscient God who allows us to influence fate. God has given believers a responsibility towards right living, right relationships with every living thing. I am grateful for the connectedness that exists between myself and all of creation – past, present, and future. My life is a part of the fabric that God has woven/is weaving, so that the responsibility for the well-being of the world does not rest solely on my shoulders, but is spread between us all.
*Winnie-the-Pooh would have appreciated the rhyme scheme, although Pooh’s poetry is well-crafted and witty.