Tag Archives: chaos

27 Seconds

How disheartened I was to find out that I had misquoted one of my favorite movies and solidified it on a recording.

I had this thought about a scene in Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. It’s a wonderful scene where Molly is trying to show Mr. Magorium that he has much to live for. They’re in a clock shop, setting up all of the clocks in order to hear them all chime at one time.

You see, at this point in the film there’s a comment made about 37 seconds of time… I had always thought it was 27 seconds, so when I looked up the quote as I was writing a song, I googled 27 seconds, but apparently others have misquoted this as well… so I fed off of their misquote and immortalized it in my song… oh well, right?

Mr. Magorium: 37 seconds.
Molly Mahoney: Great. Well done. Now we wait.
Mr. Edward Magorium: No. We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime.”

And it’s true. That moment always shook me. I’m an incessant worrier. I’m a worrying junkie. I have to get a fix. But one of the most oft ignored commands of Christ is to *not worry.* And yet, it’s the hardest one for me.

I believe that if I’m honest with myself, I love having the stress there as my excuse to have vices, as an excuse to escape and be selfish. Maybe that’s harsh, but I find it valid. There are valid reasons for stress, I’m not criticizing that, I’m merely saying that a lot of times we totally miss the beauty in front of us due to our worry and fretting.

We’re meant to be like Christ, to find him in every face, every moment… instead, we often seek comfort and pleasure, trying to escape our worry. We worry about finding ways to escape our worry.

So, I want to give you this song as a Christmas present. This is probably just about my favorite song I’ve ever gotten to bring to life… may you see the presents in front of you. May you see Christ in every moment, and find who to kneel down and wash. In my life, it’s often been my friends, kids; the people right there in front of me.

I used to pine for big ministries, but now, I see that my ministry is this minute. The small things that can give the world around us hope and life.

Merry Christmas.

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My addiction

Yes, today we will talk about my most incessant, loved, and frequently tapped addiction. It’s time for some confession.

I sneak off to get fixes.

I hide in the bathroom.

I have to have it. Seriously, I’m a junkie.

I’m a ‘multi-tasker.’

You can read that however you want- adrenaline junkie, intense, fast-paced… you know, I’m a guy that gets things done.

Here’s where I get blunt. It should be read- ‘double-minded,’ ‘divided,’ ‘inconsistent,’ ‘distracted,’ … even so far as, ‘intentionally busy to feel important.’ Yes… it’s true. I’m a multi-tasker because it makes me feel important.

I love for people to see me bustling around, getting stuff done, worn out. But it’s a joke. And it’s killing me.

Sure, we all know that we can only do one thing at a time. It’s common sense. But like many things that we ‘know’ we don’t really take it seriously.

We know that McDonalds is not real food. We know that it’s bad for your body to drink a lot of alcohol, that it’s a toxin and does what it does by literally thinning out our blood. We know that it’s stupid to text and drive. We know that it’s not wise to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, and that stats say that if you get in a wreck without one, you will die!

We know all of these things to be true. But does it stop us from doing what we want? No. A resounding no. We love grease, sensations, fun, attention… we love it. I love it.

________

This morning I watched a Rob Bell video put out by Nooma- and at first it didn’t strike me as much. The sort of thing that you look at and go, “Yeah, boy is that ever true.” and then you walk away and don’t really change anything much. You may think about it a bit, let it sorta sink in… but it’s more of a warm thought. Before you read on, watch it, and pay attention to the whole bit about Elijah.

Okay, now- let it sink in. Honestly. Go away. Shut down your computer, and sit in silence.

_________

The noise, it kills us. We seek validation from it. We thrive on it. We pump it in our veins like back alley addicts. It comes in so many forms- business, entertainment, projects, inebriation… and it all exists to shut down our minds, and keep the silence out.

When it gets silent, the Lord gets loud.

When all is quiet, you hear you… you hear what’s actually going on inside, and you have to deal with it.

I can often hate the silence. I don’t want to deal with what’s actually going on inside of me. But time after time, when I let the silence consume me, and overwhelm me- it always turns out to be a comfort.

The silence and sweet whisper of the Lord is terrifying and wild thing. You never know what the great lion will whisper in your ears. And when you lose your safeties, your pleasantries, it’s as though you’re left in the dark with the lion prowling around.

Will he pounce?

Is he going to kill me?

________

I don’t want a divided mind. I don’t want to thrive on the stress. I don’t want validation from always being busy. I want to rest in my God and creator. I want to commune with Him.

Maybe for Lent this year I’ll do a different sort of fast… can you fast from, you?

I’m sure gonna try.

I want there to be silence in my heart. Maybe I can learn what the idea of the Sabbath is really all about.

It’s the End of the World As We Know It (and I feel fine)

Last night my good friend here in my house was having a hard time.

I didn’t know what was wrong, and it wasn’t a great time to talk. (kiddos were everywhere)

So, I broke out chocolate truffles, my buddy Logan got her an icy cold beer out of my fridge, and then we turned on some ridiculously loud music.

Now, there were certain teens in the vicinity looking forward to a movie. But I knew that my friend needed to dance and play first. There’s always movie time. We needed dance time. And the kiddos had all sorts of Christmas candy energy to burn.

I knew what would really get us dancing… REM.

I hadn’t listened to them in FOREVER! I turned on ‘It’s the end of the world as we know it’ and cranked it up sooooo loud. It was wonderful. My friends eyes lit up. She grabbed the kids and they spun and twirled and jumped and bounced. I watched for a while, then had to join in to. Logan and I sang at the top of our lungs.

All of the tension had drifted away. She was twirling and playing like a little kid before her God.

And the teens… well, they watched in horror. (but that’s not all that abnormal)

It was great.

It got me thinking, “Man, that’s a great song.”

There’s not enough songs about the world falling apart and dancing and playing in the midst of it.

Things will inevitably fall apart and be messy. This world is so messed up. Day to day life is so very messed up. Our emotions lie to us, and are so messed up. But there is something so very powerful about dancing in the midst of it all.

Andrew Peterson has a song on his new album called ‘Dancing in the Minefields’ that is similar. (though much more romantic) Youtube it, the video will break your heart and give you hope. It’s wonderful.

I want to learn how to dance harder. I want to learn that in the midst of this junk that we face, to turn the music up louder, lift my hands high and praise my Father who loves us so very much.

Dancing and praising in the chaos defies your soul and tells it to “Hush, be still… know that He is God!” It trains us to see things differently.

Moment by moment, the world as we know it is ending…

You feelin fine?

Angry at what you see? Be silent…

“God!!! How long will I call for help and feel like you’re ignoring me?!?

I keep telling you, ‘VIOLENCE! THERE’S VIOLENCE AND CHAOS EVERYWHERE!!!’

Yet, You do not stop it…

Why do You make me see such horrid things everywhere I look? It’s everywhere!

Destruction and violence are all around me.

Strife and contention are rising.

The law is ignored and justice is never upheld.

The evil surround those who would do good, the righteous… and because of this, justice is continually perverted.”

No, this isn’t the typical thing to wake up to on Christmas. In fact, I’d be sort of surprised if you’re reading this on Christmas. But you know what, that’s what Christmas is all about.

The above is a paraphrase of the first few verses from the prophet, Habakkuk. I doubt that any would disagree with the sentiments. This world often feels like it’s run by the wicked.

In chapter two we hear God’s reply to the desperate man. God assures him that the wicked will bring about their own demise. That their plans will always turn on them.

And in the end of it, the prophet states plainly;

“But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him.”

The rest of His account is an amazing and humble prayer of surrender to the ways of the Almighty. A surrender that few of us have the courage to take. It’s a song of praise to the God that seems so bizarre and frightening sometimes, whose ways can seem so off in our mindset. But the books ends with the deepest prayer of surrender that a man can make…

“Though the fig tree may not blossom, and there may be no fruit on the vines… even if all our hard work to grow food should fail…

Even if our livestock is lost and our stalls and cupboards are empty…

Yet, I will exult in the Lord,

I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.

The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like the strong back legs of a beast… He makes me to climb to high places.”

This declaration of surrender can save our lives.

You see, things are simply not as they should be. Read the scriptures, you’ll find that God frequently laments the state of our world. He never intended for death and disease to rule over us. Creation truly does groan for the coming of our Lord. That’s why sing out to the Father to come, come Immanuel, God with us. Ransom us, captive to death, hatred, sickness and violence. Rescue us who are held captive to this sick and sad world!

But as the prophet said, the Lord surely is in His temple. Meaning: He sees and knows, and has a plan.

Keep silent, be still, and let Him whisper His assurance to you, that you, yes, even you, may be part of the answer along side of Him.

I give you an old hymn to dwell on this Christmas day.

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

At His feet the six winged seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia
Alleluia, Lord Most High!