Sunday, December 8, 2013

Walking Mud

One of the original bands that got me into music was Switchfoot. We were on our way home from church and my brother had bought a CD called, "The Beautiful Letdown." I didn't know that what I was listening to would go double platinum. I don't know that a fact like that would have even mattered to me. All I knew was that I soon memorized almost every single track on that album (I checked Spotify and saw a track I'd never heard. Musta been an easter egg).

A few years later, I got one of my own CD's from a band called Relient K. The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek became my ear-candy for the next few months and music soon became one of my passions. In the beginning, my brother introduced me to new bands and genres, but I soon started finding music of my own in that process, but I always maintained Relient K as one of my beacons of great music. Sure, a lot of people fell out of favor with them after Five Score and Seven Years Ago, but I found one of their least-popular albums, Forget and Not Slow Down (a post-Five-Score release), to be one of my favorites, containing some deep spiritual truths that required digging past the surface for their discovery.

Alas, things got weird when they released two karaoke albums. After all that waiting for them to release new material, all I got was covers. Ick. So when I heard they were releasing a new album, Collapsible Lung, I was stoked. Fresh music! I soon found, however, that the lyrics contained in those songs were some of the most secular, spiritually void words in Relient K history.


The last track, however, holds some words of intense thought. In this, the title track of the album, lead singer Matt Thiessen gives insight to his own walk with God.
/I’m feelin' backwards when I’m trying the most/
/And I hope haven’t heard the last words from the Holy Ghost/
/Cause I think that I’m supposed to be/
/Well on my way by now/
I've spent a lot of time thinking "that I'm supposed to be well on my way." I stumble and fall and feel the shame of sin and think, "God's probably getting pretty tired of me." If someone treated me like I treated God, I'm pretty sure I would have distanced myself from that person.

It's easy to have a pity party. You don't have to muster the energy to celebrate. You don't have to invite anyone. You don't even have to buy a cake. Just think about all of your failures, wallow in them like a pig in the mud, and get a woe-is-me sign.

Yeah, you screwed up. I screwed up. But I'm pretty sure that the truth of this whole Jesus thing is that He's no longer our Judge, but our Father. And not only is He our Father, but He's the best kind there is, which means He's patient. I once heard the analogy that, when a child is learning to walk, you don't get angry at the child when he falls after two steps, but rejoice in the fact that he was able to take two steps!
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103)
God rejoices in the steps because the fact that a mound of dirt is learning to walk is a pretty big deal. I think the truth of the matter is that we'll never be where we're supposed to be. And that's ok. If we're moving forward, even by the babiest of baby steps, He rejoices in the propulsion. He won't leave you where you are, and He'll push you to walk faster, but He concurrently recognizes our weakness.

Does that mean it's ok to be lazy or to sit in our sin? If that's what you're thinking, you've missed the entire point.

Masterpieces aren't composed in a day.


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