The Songs We Sing

I don’t know about you, but music is transforming for me. I can hear a song and be transported from my current mood or situation to a faraway place in an instant, leaving behind my languishing dismay, Debbie-Downer attitude or even crankiness ratcheted up to an 11. Music has that ability – to teleport our mind, body and soul – to a new awareness, a new start on the moment at hand…and I for one am grateful for the opportunity.

Sometimes, however, I find conflict in the music. Genres collide in a galactic missile launch, and our brains become confused on how our hearts should feel. Take, for example, two somewhat older ‘popular’ songs that have been ping-ponging like charged ions in my thoughts as of late: ‘D-I-V-O-R-C-E’ from the late great Tammy Wynette, and ‘I Am A C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N,’ the children’s classic. These two songs probably couldn’t be more opposite, but both carry a very prominant message that stands on its own merit. What if you personally enjoyed both songs? Would you be considered a hypocrite? Does one stand in direct and moral conflict of the other? And what if you have personally experienced both?

Such a discussion had never even entertained my mind until I had just that – experienced both situations. Being a Christian most of my life, I have an extremely strong moral compass by which I live. I know what I believe, and I know who I believe in. Being married for 22 years, and recently ending that marriage in divorce, I know how difficult a decision that was – ultimately for both of us. What I didn’t know, however, was how EVERYONE else would react. I didn’t know that my fellow Christians would become afraid to speak to me – as if divorce was contagious and could be passed on by just maintaining a relationship with me. I didn’t know that while losing my spouse was painful, losing my partner hurts the most. I didn’t know that time alone ALONE is the most lonely time of all. And I didn’t know that while I am a strong person – just as God made me – He brings you to your knees every time if need be to get your stinking attention, no matter how hard-headed you are.

So from my knees as I type, thought I’d hum my favorite tune for you all…goes like this:

 

Sometimes it feels like I’m watching from the outside

Sometimes it feels like I’m breathing but am I alive

I won’t keep searching for answers that aren’t here to find

All I know is I’m not home yet

This is not where I belong

Take this world and give me Jesus

This is not where I belong

So when the walls come falling down on me

And when I’m lost in the current of a raging sea

I have this blessed assurance holding me.

All I know is I’m not home yet

This is not where I belong

Take this world and give me Jesus

This is not where I belong

When the earth shakes I wanna be found in You

When the lights fade I wanna be found in You

All I know is I’m not home yet

This is not where I belong

Take this world and give me Jesus

This is not where I belong

[x2]

Where I belong, where I belong

Where I belong, where I belong

(‘Where I Belong’ – Building 429)

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By the Light of Day

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Over my years, I’ve discovered that life is spent in seasons: unspecific time periods of -ness that we react to.  For example, when our children are young and they rely on us for their every need, we find ourselves sleep-deprived, unwashed, unshaven, and just plain unpleasant to be around, we term this a ‘season of life.’  We don’t have particular names for these ‘seasons’ as there are simply too many, unless you’re feeling particularly masochistic, in which case you might be so inclined to name your personal ‘seasons’…”You’ve got to be kidding me”, “God, Loving Your Humor”, “This Is What My Life’s Become?”, “Not THIS again?!”, and so on.

Recently as I’ve been reflecting on the ‘season’ I find my ship currently docked, or STUCK, as it might more accurately be phrased, I noticed myself looking around to the situations of others.  I’m reflective of how carefree appearing their lives seem from the outside looking in, and wonder if they think the same as they see me.  I remember a time when I would have agreed – my life DID seem more carefree, easier to swallow in a daily dosage instead of the horse-pill I have with my breakfast currently.  I wonder what the common theme is – those families who seem to have the Gummy Vitamins of life.  Is it less children; younger children; a functional spousal partnership; less bags under their eyes?  For some reason, I must have missed the Old Age Happiness badge in Girl Scouts…better dig up that old sash.

So I then turned the God’s Word to see if I might find an answer for my melancholy there (yes, I did say ‘then’…obviously I’ve got a few kinks in my system…I realize this…) and found John 10:10, which says:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Oh, so basically now I not only have to watch out for these ‘seasonal’ changes at whim, but also a thief of unknown origin?  Who am I, CSI?  It’s all I can do to work on MY issues, keep these teenagers happy (oxymoron, I know!), love others and keep my job.  When is enough enough?!

But in the light of day, I realize one critical thing…this thief…he doesn’t look like this:Image

 

He looks much more like this…Image

Because every time I compare my situation, my ‘season’ to someone else’s, I steal my own chance at happiness.  My ‘seasons’, each and every one, serve a purpose.  Though during the wind and the rain, they may not make any stinking sense to me, they EACH serve part of a plan.

And the plan I made, so very long ago for my life – it was fatally flawed.  Let me tell you a big secret – so is YOURS!

Oh, we might think we’re acting in our own best interest, making the ‘best laid plans’…but those plans we make…they can’t hold a candle to the plans our Father has made for us.  And I’d be the first to tell you of the sting when one of our plans falls apart – but there is always pain in deconstruction and rebuilding.  When a new plan begins, you have to start at the foundation…always.  As long as your foundation is strong, any work begun will stand tall.

So now, instead of looking at the Gummy Vitamin families, I’ll be reviewing my foundation for small cracks, signs of water damage or just plain signs of lack of attentiveness.  Who knows…maybe a trip to Home Depot is in order.