The Gift of Existence

Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might. — 2 Samuel 6:14

I love the song “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss” by P.M. Dawn. I love it because it reminds me of my junior high crush Lynn Voorhees, which never amounted to anything. But I love the feeling. Because to love someone or something deeply is the best feeling of all. Because to love is to desire, and to desire is to want to be here. This song reminds me of what a joy it is to be here.

My favorite smell is low tide. I love low tide. I grew up in a small Pacific Northwest town called Mukilteo, and the smell of salt and decay was always around. Low tide is magical because it reveals a world that’s mostly hidden. And to walk around the tide pools and scattered kelp beds and witness that hidden world is to remember that what we see is not all there is.

I love rolled-up socks.

I love plastic sandwich bags, with or without sandwiches in them.

I love a good rainstorm.

I love the way my body feels after a long swim.

I love my body. Well, I’m trying to. I mean, I’ve been programmed to see it as not good enough for so long, mostly in Speedo® situations, that I forget what a joy it is to be incarnate in such a magical biological masterpiece. I remember this most when I hug my kids.

I love remembering that moment when my daughter was a baby, and I was lying on the bed with her. I heard the voice of God tell me she was going to be a gift to the world — and when God tells you a secret, you never forget it.

I love church. Not necessarily what we’ve made it in America. There’s a lot of fluff that can go away as far as I’m concerned. But here’s what I love. I love what happens to my eyes and my ears and my heart when I’m in the midst of a gathering. The poet Rumi has a poem that says, “Where am I going on this glorious journey? To your house, of course.” I believe this poem the most when we gather in the holy name.

I love you, Giver of existence — even though I have some deep questions about Your invisibility and the suffering in this world and the absurdity of salmon migrations! I see that You have given us the gift of existing. Admittedly, existing is trying at times. There’s so much loss. Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot of loss. But what a gift to receive, and what a world to live in, and what a cup to drink deeply from.

So thank You for my life. This one. With its dad tummy and its forty-year-old creaky knees and its proclivity to melancholiness (Enneagram 4!). I’m glad to be alive! I love being here.

We as Your people want to dance in Your presence, in the presence of the Giver of existence, in the presence of Existence itself.

So come, come and dance with me. Not because it’s a religious thing to do, but because it’s something lovers can’t be stopped from doing.

Excerpted with permission from Say Yes: Discover the Surprising Life beyond the Death of a Dream by Scott Erickson, copyright Scott Erickson.

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Your Turn

What do you love? Recognize that those things and people are gifts from our loving God and praise Him! Let’s get up and dance! ~ Devotionals Daily

Scott Erickson is a touring painter, performance storyteller, and creative curate who mixes autobiography, biblical narrative, and visual aesthetics that speak to our deepest experiences. He is currently touring his multi-media storytelling piece “Say Yes: A Liturgy of Not Giving Up on Yourself,” and is the coauthor of Prayer: Forty Days of Practice and May It Be So: Forty Days with the Lord’s Prayer. Scott is most loved by his wife, Holly, and their three children in Austin, TX.

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