My time in Ireland started with one of the best experiences of my life. A crazy, sweaty, crowded concert filled with Irish, English, Americans and many more. My favorite band that played was Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. They played one of their songs that has become the theme of this entire trip. I encourage you to read not through the lens of religion and what has been taught in contemporary christianity but through the lens of pure friendship & relationship.
An excerpt from “I don’t wanna pray” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
Not much good to talk, better to walk it
Not much good to take, better to give
We are gone forgiven and forgotten of our sins
I promise you my friend all that dies will live again
Pardon god and mom, what I’m sayin’ isn’t rare
See I’m looking to become, not the pray-er but the prayer
And now I don’t want to pray
I don’t wanna pray
As we traveled from Dublin to Northern Ireland, onto Cork, Galway and Kilkenny…we didn’t fold our hands, close our eyes and pray. But we embodied the prayer. We didn’t sit quietly and repeat a bunch of words to make us sound spiritual. We just walked and breathed and listened. We are operating in such freedom stemming from our friendship with God that we just remained with him. We don’t enter in and out of friendship as we gather to pray. But we live. Religion has made us believe that we must do something to be in his presence and to be spiritual. It has taught us that we need to practice and exercise and muster up enough faith in order to serve God and receive his friendship.
But I’m finding more and more evidence of him being “faithful, even when I am faithless…for he cannot deny himself.”
And so I don’t want to become a pray-er. Someone who prays but doesn’t know the god i’m praying to. I want to become the prayer. I want to become the cry. I want to become the very breathe and life and joy of my god.
Ireland has been a fresh wind for me. The kind of wind that clears out the debris and exposes the foundation. Sitting on the edge of 700 feet cliffs under clear blue skies, I said to Diane, “it’s times like this that I wonder if we’re already in heaven.”