This brief post was actually a section that didn't make it to my recent piece on the Science for the Church's blog, "Grateful for Gratitude."
So, I thought I'd put it here.
I’m a jazz musician, and I’ve brought improvisation not just to music, but to all of my life. In the process, I’ve realized that improv is an act of hope. And this hope emerges from confidence in two key things: the other musicians and your own skills (as I wrote in chapter 6 of Say Yes to No).
The bottom line: in improv, we don't know what's going to happen yet--it's not scripted--and yet we have hope it's going to be good.
This leads then to the question. How can we be open to improvising our life, that is walking by faith? I find it's fairly simple: first, being grateful for what God has already done.
Gratitude therefore is the basis of improvisation. It allows us to move forward with the ability to create a life without scripting everything before it happens. Gratitude indeed leads to improvisational hope.
(Because trying to script the future doesn’t really work, does it?)