I strap on my seatbelt for the wild ride of rehearsal. John suddenly stops in the middle of singing “It is well with my soul”, with a jarring question: “What does it feel like when things are not well with your soul?” Swiftly come the answers: angry, crabby, worried, anxious, depressed, nervous. We know with clarity and immediacy these feelings of unease. Very different feelings from those we are singing about: peace, calm, joy.
No-one can sing “It is well with my soul” in an authentic way, as a true offering to God, if we cannot identify both feelings of unease and feelings of peace in our lives. Done as an offering in worship, the music will be a blend of our feelings of peace and worry. It is no accident that sounds rise, just as the smoke of sacrifices and prayers rise to the Eternal Throne. The opportunity for us to offer these mixtures of peace and anxiety up to God is transformative; we can become different people through an honest expression of feelings to God Almighty–transforming crabby-ness into warmth, anger into peace.
Is this a journey to a Festival or a sudden experience of trading those “not well” feelings for feelings of joy?