The Morgan Church Devotional

a pastor's thoughts about...uhm...stuff

Name:
Location: Morgan, VT., United States

follower of Jesus. husband & father. friend. pastor.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Re-run...but a Good One

"i tried to make you like me with some words and a six string;
i was starving for a deeper love...my God, what shallow reasoning.
and even when it got cold, i hardly knew i'd died;
i guess you go a little numb before you go empty on the inside"
from "songwriter" by Bill Mallonee

i was recently reading a series of articles on "people who died young"...as you might expect, there were a great many musicians on that list. some died in accidents, but many, if not most, of them died either by suicide or overdose.

we aren't surprised by it, sad to say. but why is that?

to not exactly quote Augustine, we were made to be at home in God and our hearts are restless until we find Him...

and life is full of dis-satisfaction. life is full of angst. life is full of empty...there's one for you. life is full of empty.

and the musician (particularly the songwriter) has the job of relating life's experience to people...it's a daunting task, to mess with your own emptiness and even delve into someone else's.

even when the songwriter isn't writing (or singing) about emptiness...it lingers...it hangs around...it is there...it's ominous presence shading the black and white textures of the song, evoking feelings of longing and yearning and...dis-satisfaction. it's easy to fall prey to this hunter called depression and isolation...and he's an expert killer.

to be honest, most of my own best written songs are borne of this feeling...this ache...this dullness...this longing for God. i haven't always understood it...and still don't completely; but it was always a part of me.

then.
something.
changed.

i didn't know it changed...but then, one day, i noticed the ache was gone. i also noticed it was a while since i wrote a decent song...but that ache...that hurt...that restlessness was gone. i stumbled on the cure for the life full of empty.

it wasn't that i met Jesus...i had become a christian years before. sincerely. but, i guess, i finally stopped striving with Him...and just began to believe Him.

it's funny, i kind of miss that ache, to be honest. it was like a drug...and it was impossible to think of giving it up, and if it (the cure) didn't "sneak up on me", i'd still be an addict.

you may not be a songwriter. you may not think yourself creative...but you may have that dull ache of longing...and it drives you...it motivates you...it's a part of you. sometimes you think it is you.

it's not.

you are restless....you were made to be home, and you are not. you know where home is...you know, on some level, you want to be there, but you are not.

i know that feeling. i've bottled that feeling up in songs. i've been drunk on that feeling. and i've been bitten on the butt by that feeling.

i've felt like the songwriter, who said:

" in the end, when i just ain't got the time
oh well, i'm wasted and i can't find my way home"

or the teacher who said:

"Everything is meaningless," says the Teacher, "utterly meaningless!" What do people get for all their hard work? Generations come and go, but nothing really changes. The sun rises and sets and hurries around to rise again. The wind blows south and north, here and there, twisting back and forth, getting nowhere. The rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows again to the sea. Everything is so weary and tiresome! No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.

but my heart found it's home when it just started taking Jesus at His word.

and, by the way, it's only been my art that has suffered.

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