Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rise Above

I love Michael W. Smith's newest album Wonder. Every time I listen to it, I feel as if God is speaking directly to me, and I come away moved and changed. This has not been an easy week, for a bunch of separate reasons, and the song 'Rise' has a lyric which says, "Just leave it all behind, and rise above."

I must have listened to that song thirty times this week. When I would begin to doubt myself, or flounder in fear and want to go back to my old ways, I would crank it up, and listen while the tears flowed. Life is short. We all know this. It's not worth holding on to resentment and anger. I want to let it go, and move on, and be healthy and strong in my boundaries and in myself.

The key is to feel the pain and the hurt, to stop shutting it down and lying to myself that it doesn't hurt when it does, and then, and only then, will I have a chance to leave it behind. It's the same damn backpack of rocks again. I end up wearing it, trudging around, thoroughly exhausted, before I remember that I'm supposed to set it down and leave it by the side of the road.

It's hard to get away from our personality entrapments. We all have them, and are generally blind to them. I get so far in before I realize that I've messed up, yet again, and taken on more than I should have. The good news is that I can always change, and do my best to fix the mistakes I've made. I'm trying to improve when it comes to beating myself up. Flogging myself isn't very helpful in the long run. I'm human, therefore I screw up, and there is glorious freedom in accepting this as truth and not hiding from it anymore.

We all revert to past habits when we feel threatened. We long to feel safe, and cared for, and not vulnerable to attack. But we are vulnerable, and can be hurt, if we are not hiding our true feelings from ourselves or others. I think I'm having a hard time accepting this. I know how to hide and protect myself, but this living in the open is fraught with peril. I have to keep going, with one foot in front of the other. We all have to, as the alternative is stagnation or backwards motion, and I want to move forward now.

The Michael W. Smith song is about taking the hand of Jesus in order to rise above the wind and the waves and the storm. He is offering that hand all of the time, and it's up to us to take it. The song says, "Come see what I can see." God has a different vantage point than we do, and I prefer his view to my limited one. It's time to leave it all behind, and rise above.

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