by Ken Rolheiser
Every Good Story is a God Story

Einstein was on a train offering his ticket to the conductor. “It’s o.k. I know who you are,” said the conductor.
“But I don’t know where I’m going,” said Einstein.

American Idol and The Voice participants showcase their very best singing talents. There is much preparation, and in some cases a lifetime of dedicated practice. It is humbling to watch these performers.

“All of us have failed to match our dreams of perfection,” said William Faulkner. One of the songs performed this year was Ed Sheeeran’s “Eyes Closed”. It captures a universal longing.

We live our lives with the cards life deals us, holding back the tears, the song says. While our friends are somewhere else, we have a lump in our throats. It may include lost loves, but our lives often have isolation, loneliness and unfulfillment. 

We dance with our eyes closed, follow the illusion, and pretend things are better than they are. “Life just goes on.” If only we can take the blessings of each day. The inspiration of so many singers spurs us to worthwhile reflection. Music is art that goes straight to the heart. 

Do we put it all on the line the best we can? Look at ourselves honestly? Do we dare practice, practice, practice? Do we trust in God? God loves us more because we are struggling sinners turning to Him. Our imperfect love makes us more endearing to God.

We do not stand alone! Every good story is a God story. I am reminded of Adelle’s song “Skyfall” written for a James Bond movie by that name. The opening line says: This is the end.

“Skyfall” describes the sky crumbling, the darkness of world’s colliding. This was a reality in 9-11, New York, when dust, darkness and debris fell as world’s collided. A voice was heard, “Follow me!” And six persons emerged safely from that doom.

Another story from 9-11 is told by journalist Paul de Vries, who saw “a tall, muscular, handsome, African-American man in business attire, standing frozen by himself in the swirl of people on the sidewalk, on Broadway, weeping uncontrollably.”

“He was supposed to be at work on the 86th floor by 8:30, but his twelve-year-old disobedient daughter had made him very late. Always this daughter had been a nearly perfect ‘angel,’ but that morning she had been a total pain… She could not find the dress… could not find the right shoes… then she remembered that she had more homework. 

“He had been yelling at her all the while… scolding her all the way down the street… He is now safe only because his ‘angel’ had thrown him way off schedule.”

God had worked through this “disobedient” angel. With this realization, the man ran back to his daughter’s school to apologize and thank her for saving his life. 

In the metaphor of Skyfall we can “stand together”. Face it. Be tall! “Put your hand in my hand… I’ll never be without the security of your loving arms”, the song says. “Where you go, I go… And we’ll stand together.”

Yes, God wants to be with us, go with us, spend time with us. In our life’s journey he invites us to help build his kingdom with our talents. We may never win American Idol, but we will live our lives with blessings if we put our hands in his.

“Infinite love is the only truth; everything else is illusion” Tielhard de Chardin.

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