“What else is a poor boy to do?” – Eric Clapton
C.S. Lewis wrote in his book “Mere Christianity” that “faith is the ability to hold onto things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.” Changing moods may be the theme of 2020. I know my moods have swung from pure joy to head-shaking grief. From anger and fear and disgust to love and grace and empathy. And like any normal person, those moods can change from minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.
“Mere Christianity” is one of my all-time favorite books. I’ll pick it up from time to time and just a read a chapter or two. I’d highly recommend it if you’ve never read it before and especially if you’re struggling or have ever struggled spiritually. Recently, I was drawn into chapters 11 & 12 again, which are both on the topic of faith.
Faith requires energy and intentionality and effort. It’s a constant battle, and the battle, to quote Mr. Lewis again, “is between faith and reason on one side, and emotion and imagination on the other.” Lewis even makes a point that it takes energy and effort to have faith as an atheist (of which he was one for part of his life); to remain true to your beliefs as an atheist against signs and wonders and historical facts that Christians point to in their case for Christianity.
“Lately I’ve been talking in my sleep. I can’t imagine what I’d have to say.”
For someone that has over 100 posts on this site, it’s hard for me to imagine that I have much to say, but maybe I do. Granted some of my posts are fluff pieces or just reiterations of stories from the past, but I’m also not going to knock my persistence or my ability to churn out pieces especially when I didn’t feel like writing. There are certainly those times I’m banging away at the keyboard that help me grow as an individual like the recent six-part Summer Mixtape Revisited series which was intended to amplify the struggles, thoughts, and aspirations of our fellow black brothers and sisters.
Of course there are times when my faith is tested or when it feels like it is in neutral – lacking that energy and intentionality I mentioned earlier. Shame creeps in asking why I don’t have more faith. It is those times that I am thankful for my wife and my family and my friends and my God. It’s them who brings that light into the darkness, is the sign on the road, or just the inspiration to draw from. For that I am extremely thankful.
I’m sure I’m not alone in running on faith during this time. Hell, it takes faith just to go to the grocery store during Covid 2020, and I know that it’s going to continue to take effort and time and focus to refill that faith tank as we approach the last quarter of the year. I hope you have something or someone that helps refill your faith tank during this time be it friends or faith or maybe it’s just a song by Eric Clapton. God knows we all need it.
“Then we’d go running on faith. All of our dreams would come true. And our world will be right when love comes over me and you.”
Unless you’re a big Eric Clapton fan, not many will realize this song was released in November of 1989 off of his “Journeyman” album. For me (and probably countless others), it entered my consciousness in 1992 when Eric Clapton appeared on MTV and subsequently released his “Eric Clapton Unplugged” album. That album sold over 26 million worldwide and earned Clapton six Grammy awards including Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year (Tears in Heaven), Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Best Rock Male Vocal Performance and Best Rock Song. The dude killed it with this album further solidifying himself as one of the greatest musicians of all time.
I remember being a sophomore in college in 1991 as my friend Trey, holding an Eric Clapton poster in his hands, stared directly into my old VHS camcorder while emphatically announcing “Clapton is a god!” From the MTV unplugged early days circa 1992, here is that guitar slaying god running on faith then, and most surely in 2020 as well.
Thanks for reading, and our world may never be perfect, but it’s always much better when love comes over me and you.