realization through Conversations

I went to the Sara Groves CD release concert tonight. Sara is one of my favorite artists and she happens to be from Minneapolis. It was a great show. She played songs from her new album (“Tell Me What You Know”) and plenty of great songs from her past albums, she also told stories from the last few years of her life (including the recent birth of her daughter and a life-changing trip to Rwanda, both of which have influenced her music). Something I have always appreciated and found refreshing about Sara’s music is its raw honesty about life and faith, and although I have seen her in concert before and have been a fan of her music for several years, while singing along with her songs tonight (either in my head or out loud) I found myself hearing the lyrics for the first time (you’d think I would have heard them before if I had them memorized, right?). I have heard people talk about separating the words from the music, but I never thought that I did this. I realized tonight that I had been missing out on some great stuff in the music of one of my favorite artists. The song that helped me realize this is called “Conversations”; here are the lyrics that I had somehow never heard…

“I would like to share with you what makes me complete. I don’t claim to have found the Truth, but I know it has found me. The only thing that isn’t meaningless to me is Jesus Christ and the way he set me free. This is all that I have. This is all that I am.”

How could I have missed this? I wonder what else I haven’t been hearing in the music I listen to. I get so caught up in things that I think are important. I look at what I have and think one of two things, either I have it all or I need more. In either extreme – depending on when I last bought the new “it” thing – I have ascribed meaning to things that are actually quite meaningless (shoes, iPods, cars –> the older I get, the more expensive they become). I have wasted too much of my life claiming to have found the truth or at least knowing where to find it (and it usually has a price tag attached). I like to think that I am complete, but tonight, while sitting in one of the back rows at a concert, I heard someone sing about what makes her complete, and the Truth of her words found me and helped me realized (once again) that the only thing that isn’t meaningless to me—the only thing that makes me complete—is Jesus Christ and the way his death set me free. This really is all that I have. It’s all that I am, and if I am really honest, it is all that I need (I don’t actually need any of that other stuff, I just really want it and I trick myself into believing it will somehow make my life more meaningful). I would like to thank Sara Groves for her beautiful words that I have been singing for years but finally heard (for the first time) tonight. I think it’s probably like this with God and us most of the time; it may seem like we hear what God is trying to say and often we can even repeat back the lines that we have memorized (prayers, creeds, Bible verses), but we still haven’t heard what God is really saying. I am not sure how it happens or what we can do to ensure that we hear God (and to be honest, I don’t actually believe we do anything, God pretty much does it all), but I think our best option is to open ourselves up to God’s Word and trust that it will find us (and then pray that we will have ears to hear it).

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