I tried to come up with a motivational song in order to write this piece but I came up with, well… nothing. I scanned my mind, my collection of Christian songs, other songs I grew up listening to, or maybe still other songs that made me happy. After getting myself in the “mood” to write the piece I envisioned after drowning myself in a self-help book to make myself “get into the game, ” I discovered there were no happy songs, no birds chirping, no “You can do it! ” The thought of listening to “Eye of the Tiger” made me cringe, along with the idea of any cheesy, beat ’em up and go get ’em kind of music.
How is it possible that in the infinitum of music, the endless sea of notes, I couldn’t come up with one song that would stimulate my artistic brain to write with pen and paper? As I sat scanning my brain’s collection of hits, I came up with Nirvana’s Nevermind and a collection of indie tracks that brought me back to my days of teenage angst and self-medicating to deal with the pain that I couldn’t face in any other way then through dark music and marijuana.
And although I’ve left the dark music and marijuana behind, I realized that I didn’t really leave it behind at all. The pain, yes it was gone, recovery had worked through the miracle that is Jesus Christ. But when my all -motivational You can do it! book asked me to write my goals and visions of my ideal life and I sat down to write the so-called “manifesto, ” I froze, mired in the fear of the thought that maybe, just maybe, I didn’t believe that I deserved anything more than suffering and pain. That I had identified with it for so long that it was comfortable to me. That I was “good” at it. And in a way, I had relegated myself to the suffering Jesus, not the joyful one, not the one who came to bring life and bring it abundantly. I realized my wonderful non-Christian friends had more faith than I did, and although they hadn’t accepted Christ, they had accepted me, which turns out may be one and the same…
And then a phone call came from a friend who was ecstatic on the other end of the phone-
“Hey, I had to call you. That devotional you wrote a couple of months back really moved me. I decided I was finishing my day at work and then taking that vacation time. I am going to go home to my wife and kids and hug them so hard it’s gonna hurt and I’m not gonna let go. Life is too short man, thank you, thank you so much…” He could barely contain the excitement in his voice. And as I listened to him with the tears rolling down my face, I hung up the phone and realized, I didn’t believe my own words, the ones that He gave me. The ones that He wrote.
There are so many hurting Christians out there. So many of us who love Jesus with all our hearts but still don’t think God has a bigger plan for us. Some of us who write inspirational pieces that we think apply to everyone else but… us.
The truth becomes manifested in the strangest of ways. Through self-help books and dark songs, through friends who don’t believe in God, through our own writing . That God uses me, sometimes daily, to write about his vastness and love, his acceptance, his peace. And to think, all this time, I may have been writing to an audience of…one.
You can check out some of my other writings on Church Set Free