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Who is this God, anyway?

The God of my youth was immoveable, a solid rock, changeless. That the Earth and the whole universe are in a process of constant change was taught to me as an aberration, an evidence of sin. And for most of my life I have resisted and feared unexpected change—something in me still wants a steady center, a place of absolute certainty.

But that view of God and the universe no longer works for me and I struggle daily to honor what is certain and good while releasing into a yet-to-be-born future. How can I lean to trust the unfolding of my life and the life of the world? I pause in my early morning reflections to listen to the songs of meadowlarks and phoebes outside my window and I feel the images in my heart begin to shift.

The birds outside suggest that God may be better known as The God of Music than the God of Immobility. Perhaps the changeless quality of God is not being like a solid rock, but having equanimity amidst constant movement and change. This would be a God of wind, of ocean, of earthquake and thunder. A God of major and minor, of diminished and augmented, of the interwoven voices of a fugue with repeated themes and whimsical excursions. This would be a God of unexpected modulations and unresolved progressions as well as satisfying resolutions. Just like in the bird chorus, new voices are picking up the current tune and building new songs from it. The music of life is always changing. But along with the new notes it also contains ancient patterns and eternal harmonies.

I pray for the grace to flow with the music, to respond to the changes in life and to sing my part, knowing that my small part is enough. To be silent in times of necessary rest and to crescendo or fade as the spirit moves within and around me; in short, to let the God of Music be my guide. That is the sort of changeless God I can live with—a God of memory and hope, of balance and always-new creation. Sing praises!

Eileen Terry is a member of Celtic Way's Board of Directors. Read more about her here.

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