Each week in the bulletin at my church, we feature a worship song, usually one that is sung by the congregation on that Sunday. Occasionally, we feature Christian worship songs that we haven’t yet included in our liturgies. This week, we looked at a song of Hillsong United from their album called Zion (2013). (Hillsong United is a worship band that originated in Sydney, Australia in 1998 as part of Hillsong Church.) The title of this post is taken from the song called “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail).”
For the complete version, see the YouTube performance at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBJJJkiRukY.
The song opens with:
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
In the middle of the song, the refrain is repeated six times in a row:
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the water
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior.
If you listen to the performance, I can almost guarantee that you will be singing that refrain for the rest of the day!
I continue to reflect on taking risks and leaving my comfort zone when God “calls me out upon the waters.” My greatest hesitation is that “my feet may fail.” I am afraid of failing. Richard Rohr (Falling Upward, 2011) reminds us that it’s not as though failure might happen if we are not good enough, or that we can avoid failure if we are clever enough. Failure will happen, and to me, too. “Failure is a necessary and even good part of the human journey.” (p. XX)
I recall one “spectacular” and painful failure, and the lessons I learned from it. Years ago, I failed the oral qualifying exam in my doctoral program — not once, but twice. Not only was this a terrible blow to my ego and self-esteem, but I was paralyzed for weeks about moving forward. I was younger then, and had not yet realized that I did not have to be alone in this failure. I did not have enough trust to know that I would survive, and eventually thrive as a result.
The key is perhaps in the song’s line, “Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders.”