Thursday, September 17, 2009

Training Wheels

A couple of weeks ago I was on my morning run and feeling sluggish and distracted. With every step I took I wanted that run to be finished, but I couldn’t just stop because then I’d still have to walk the rest of the way back. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself when all of a sudden something happened that changed my whole attitude. My spirits were lifted, there was a spring in my step and I finished strong… A week or so ago I came home from work frustrated, exhausted and feeling totally self-absorbed. I was just down and all I wanted to do was walk back into my bedroom and lie down for an hour, but then something happened that changed my heart completely... This morning I was just going about my tasks, busily and efficiently, while completely emotionally absent. I was checking things off the ‘to-do’ list but I was like a vacuum of feelings, totally devoid of the spirit required for the work I had to do when all of a sudden something happened that changed everything…

What happened? What was this mysterious treble occurrence that filled me with joy, energy and a heart full of praise that enabled me to look beyond myself? Simply put, Chris Rice happened.

Three times in recent memory a Chris Rice song has come bursting through the headphones or the speakers at just the right moment to rescue my heavy and selfish heart and lift me up to a place where I can think and see clearly who I am and who Jesus is. And this, I believe, is the ministry of a songwriter who loves Christ. They do for us what we sometimes cannot do for ourselves: they help us to see Jesus in a new and fresh way, or they help us to remember to see Him as we once did.

I used to hate Christian music… passionately. I loved Jesus, but I didn’t like any of the music that Christian artists wrote. I found the songs cheesy and the music sub-par. Then I heard Chris Rice. My girlfriend (now my wife) was playing a Chris Rice CD in the background as we were hanging out one night in college. I faintly heard something that sounded like James Taylor, so I went to the stereo to turn it up. It wasn’t JT. It was this guy named Chris Rice singing a song called “Big Enough.” I turned it up and stood there at the stereo… I would never be the same. “God if you’re there, I wish you’d show me/ And God if you care then I need you to know me/ I hope you don’t mind me asking the questions/ But I figure you’re big enough…”

The other week, as I ran down the road, discouraged and tired, a while back, as I entered the house flustered and finished and as I faced this day with an enormous deficit of heart and joy, God used Chris Rice again to remind me that there is a place I’ll go one day where “Peace is pouring over my soul to see the lambs and the lions playing/ I join in and I drink the music, holiness is the air I’m breathing/ And my faithful heroes break the bread and answer all of my questions/ Not to mention what the streets are made of, my heart’s held hostage by this love and these billion colors I have never seen…”

This is why we have songs… because there are times when you’re at the end and you have nothing left and you just need someone to remind you that whoever you may have been today or this week, you really do love Jesus! You really do want to sing along to those words, “Somewhere beyond the stars is Someone who belongs to me/ And I know in my deepest heart there’s a place for you/ Until I find the place you’ve made for me/ Still I’m missing you…” You just needed someone to sing the words for you, to you… like training wheels for your heart, until you're strong enough to sing your own song.

1 comment:

Christy Younger said...

Amen- thank you for bringing us lots of new songs to help our hearts :)

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