Can I relate?

So here’s the deal: Take a song, picked at random, from one of my playlists. Given the lyrics to the chosen song, go through them and give my thoughts to them and see if I can relate to any of them. Do I know what I am really listening to or do I just like the melody? If I like how this goes I’ll probably do it again sometime. And the first song is…”Worlds Apart” by Jars of Clay (Charlie Lowell, Dan Haseltine, Matt Odmark, Stephen Mason)…figures!

I am the only one to blame for this
Somehow it all ends up the same
Soaring on the wings of selfish pride
I flew too high
And like Icarus I collide

With a world I try so hard to leave behind
To rid myself of all but love
To give and die

As a Christian and as a Catholic, in particular, THIS song, much less these lyrics, are a prayer to the very heart of what it means to be both. Most of the shortcomings, read “sins”, that I have in my life are self imposed, self inflicted, and usually rooted in pride or selfishness…that sounds like me.

To turn away and not become
Another nail to pierce the skin
Of One who loves
More deeply than the oceans
More abundant than the tears
Of a world embracing every heartache

Can I be the one to sacrifice
Or grip the spear and watch the blood
And water flow

Again, as a Catholic/Christian – if what I believe is true then there is a God and in turn his Son who is all loving of me despite my shortcomings and/or when I fall. When I sin it’s an affront to the unconditional love that I find in God.

(To love you) Take my world apart
(To need you) I am on my knees
(To love you) Take my world apart
(To need you) Broken on my knees

I often think of another lyric – “Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell” – no matter where I am in my life, even when I feel that things are going great (which is most of the time) I find peace when I am praying…on my knees.

All said and done I stand alone
Amongst remains of a life I should not own
It takes all I am to believe
In the mercy that covers me

Did You really have to die for me
All I am for all You are
‘Cause what I need and what I believe
Are worlds apart
And I pray

It seems that the more I give the less I need. I often find myself thinking that there’s really not much in this world that I want, much less need. There’s a certain freedom in not feeling too attached to the things of this world. I don’t worry too much because would it help any if I did? My Faith allows me to be assured that most things will be alright – and those that are not are as they should be.

(To love you) Take my world apart
(To need you) I am on my knees
(To love you) Take my world apart
(To need you) Broken on my knees
On my knees

I look beyond the empty cross
Forgetting what my life has cost
And wipe away the crimson stains
That dull the nails that still remain

More and more I need you now
I owe you more each passing hour
Battles between grace and pride
I gave up not so long ago

I try as best I can to accept any pain that comes into my life, whether it’s emotional, mental, or physical, and compare it to Jesus’ suffering on the cross. No matter how bad I feel it doesn’t seem to compare. So I take my own pain and offer it back up to Jesus. If in some metaphysical way it takes some of Jesus’ pain on the cross away then I am happy. And even if it doesn’t that’s OK. There’s a deeper and more complex opinion on this regarding the redemptive power of suffering but that’s for another time.

So steal my heart and take the pain
Wash the feet and cleanse my pride
Take the selfish, take the weak
All the things I cannot hide

Take the beauty, take my tears
Sin-soaked heart and make it yours
Take my world all apart
Take it now, take it now

Often times the hero’s story is one of breaking someone down to the very core and then building them back up. I don’t consider myself a hero, but I sometimes like to take that path of renewed growth every so often in my life. I want to be better than I am but I am weak…or at least I feel like I get weak. Then to stop and rebuild…learning from the past and from other influences. There is a sense of what doesn’t destroy me makes me stronger…at least that’s the goal.

And serve the ones that I despise (To love you)
Speak the words I can’t deny (Take my world apart)
Watch the world I used to love (To need you)
Fall to dust and blow away (I am on my knees)

I look beyond the empty cross (To love you)
Forgetting what my life has cost (Take my world apart)
And wipe away the crimson stains (To need you)
That dull the nails that still remain (Broken on my knees)

So steal my heart and take the pain (To need you)
Take the selfish, take the weak
And all the things I cannot hide (To need you)
Take the beauty, take my tears (On my knees / To need you)

I guess no matter what you feel is your life’s mission it’s probably a never-ending task. Or maybe it’s a task that you perform continually perfecting it each time but never reaching perfection. As Andy said…”I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

Take my world apart, take my world apart
And I pray (To love you)
And I pray, and I pray (On my knees)
Take my world apart

It’s worlds apart

As a Christian, the goal is to strive to be as Christ-like as possible. It’s a silly prospect to try to be perfect love. I may as well just try to go to another planet…another world. But I guess I’ll try anyways.