If you pay close attention to my lyrics, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that spirituality, God and the complexity of faith are concepts I think about a lot.
This song represents a pivotal moment in my life spiritually and, even though I wrote it over five years ago, I still feel like it sums up who I am, how I think, and how I experience God today.
If I had written this blog a few years ago, I would have gone on at length about intellectual things regarding religion and why this and why that and if this then that, etc.
I love conversations about spirituality, but today I only want to focus on my personal experience of the thing.
I grew up in the Church and my one-to-one encounter of God was always something present in me.
It wasn’t about making other people believe what I believed, it wasn’t about sin, it wasn’t about heaven or hell, it wasn’t about Church.
I have always been aware of a presence somewhere inside me I can’t explain I know as God.
I always knew this God loved me and I always knew this God was constantly making me aware of my responsibility to be an individual of integrity.
My experience of Church, however, was very different and I’ve always had a hard time reconciling my experience of God with my experience of “God’s people”.
Any time I have a conversation with someone about Christianity who is repulsed by it, their frustrations are my frustrations too.
In my early twenties, that frustration reached a boiling point and I couldn’t stand to be in the Church any longer.
All I could see was a culture obsessed with sustaining itself. All I could hear was language about a God that loved everyone but only its members could understand.
It’s this difficulty of reconciliation that Honest Air focuses on.
The majority of Honest Air focuses on my personal, quiet experience of God.
A relationship that makes so much sense to me and one I don’t have to explain because I see the truth in what it produces in me.
But the end of the song is my hope for all of humanity.
The hope that we’re all wrong.
“Tearing through the noise of the crowd and my own voice I hear it,
Something beautiful, bigger than the God we had made,
Brighter than the sun not a single one of us could have known it,
What foolish men we are.”
I have things I believe based on a very small human experience, but I try and operate with the perspective that if God is love and created everything and isn’t confined to time and actually wants something to do with us, you, me, then there is so much I can’t know because He is so unlike humans.
Not knowing produces humility in me.
Yes, I know my experience of God. But I can’t know yours. Not really.
So, I keep my focus small and allow space for everything else.
Shortly after writing this song, I left the Church.
I also stopped responding to that presence inside of myself I knew as God because that was when I thought “God’s people” were synonymous with God, and I labeled religion as the source of their toxicity.
It can be difficult when reflecting back on these songs to make sure I’m doing a good job of showing you were my mind was at before, during and after writing them.
This song was really just the beginning of a spiritual journey I wrote about over the course of a couple songs. (Honest Air, The Last Time I Was Home, Stranger, Save the Fire, Sunlight, Blue Skies)
If you have questions about anything I’ve written here or where I’m at now, or just want to talk about your own experience of spirituality, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love these types of conversations.