I’m convinced if you think it, God and Pastor Mike know it.
Let me clarify here. There have been times during my life while sitting in church that I’m sure someone is reading my mind. Not just God, because that is a foregone conclusion that God, or whatever higher power you may believe in, is all knowing. But does that ability manifest itself in men and women of God — particularly ministers, pastors, priests, rabbis? I’m convinced it does, either that or Pastor Mike White at Bear Valley Church is a mind reader.
I believe that faith and belief in God or a higher power are very personal, and that each individual worships in their own way. I feel that it’s not necessarily about the particular four walls of a church where one chooses to worship but that one chooses to worship. In Big Bear I think we have some 30 or more churches representing that many religions or faiths.
During the years, I have attended St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, as I was raised Catholic, and Bear Valley Church, which was formerly First Baptist Church. My father’s side of the family were all Southern Baptist, so I feel comfortable in both houses of worship.
Of late, I have been attending Bear Valley Church, where I found a welcome mat that seemed like coming home the moment I stepped through the doors. While the atmosphere is relaxed and even filled with laughter at times, there is a real sense of faith that settles over the congregation.
That being said, when I first started attending, or returned to the little white church on Big Bear Boulevard, I was a bit reserved when it came to singing. The music is a big part of the worship service at Bear Valley Church. But I don’t sing. I am sure the soap would get up and run if I sang in the shower because I do not have a singing voice worthy of anything outside my head.
The past couple of weeks I’ve been actually singing — not loud, but moving past lip syncing — in church. Yesterday as the congregation was singing I thought to myself it didn’t matter how bad our voices might be, because as we were joining together in musical praise, the sound was beautiful. No one could hear my
off-key, out of tune vocals. Everything blended as one magical choir.
What does that have to do with Pastor Mike reading my mind, you ask? Well, the musical portion of the service was longer than usual, and when Pastor Mike began addressing the congregation his sermon was on worship — and the importance of music in worship and praise.
Hum, I thought. Did he know what I was thinking? I could only smile and wonder how he knew that I was thinking about the music that particular day. I’m sure God knew I was unsure about singing out loud, but how did Pastor Mike know. And how did he choose that particular day to share a sermon on musical worship?
Life is funny that way. Things do happen for a reason, even if it’s a simple thing that lets me belt out the words of praise as if I’m Whitney Houston singing Gospel music, and the church is still standing as Whitney Houston I’m not.