Sing a song of praise. Raise your hands to God: dirty hands with bizarre tan lines at the wrist from biking gloves. Ride for the Future stands behind a hoard of children in the back of Vacation Bible School at a Lutheran in Gonzalez, LA. Eleven filthy riders singing and dancing with a mob of children and learning about the presence of the Lord in everyday life. Where have you seen the Lord act in your life today? Eleven people on bicycles are still safe and healthy and surprisingly well fed.
Trust in God.
No matter what you are feeling, trust in God.
No matter who you are, trust in God.
No matter where you are, trust in God.
Trust in God.
Each house of worship we have stayed at has welcomed us with open hearts. Trusted us to enter their home, no matter what they felt about our ideas, no matter who we were, no matter who they were. Based on this trust, we were allowed to join the community, to listen and speak. We were able to play with their kids, sing their songs of praise, and use every pot in their kitchen to feed our troops. They trusted in us because we are weary travelers in need of shelter and of course because of good old Southern hospitality. They show us love and kindness. Trust in God.
I have joined in their services and taken communion to celebrate the Lord that connects me to each of these communities. I was blessed on my birthday at a Methodist Church in New Orleans, prayed for at every step of the way, and given valuable advice about practicing Christianity to support my own beliefs about religion. Religion is what you practice, not what you preach and definitely not just sitting on a pew every Sunday. I have been impressed with Louisiana churches that seem to dedicate all their power to forming and strengthening each community they inhabit. God sings through their actions and their hearts while in comparison he whispers in their moving sermons and services. Believe in community. Trust in God.
I grew attending a Lutheran church with a huge congregation. My mom taught my Sunday school classes (or my siblings’ Sunday school classes) to make sure that we learned how to live the gospel and read the stories. I helped teach Sunday school classes at my church and started attending the teen services when I reached that age. I brought my friends of all denominations to join in my worship and to be a part of my community. We had a blast and they learned a lot about the choices I make in my life. I have also spent a lot of time volunteering at the Salvation Army to help with Vacation Bible School: singing, dancing, playing, reading, and worshiping with kids from all over my city. Religion is a very important part of my daily life, not a duty or something that I save for Sundays. I pray every time an ambulance or fire truck goes by me on the street. I pray every time my heart is broken as I read scientific studies about cancer. I pray when I need someone to hear my voice. I try to worship God in every action I take and have given my life to serving others. Trust in God.
I sure do trust in God.