Friday, July 25, 2003

Theme Song

This song hit me hard when I first heard it, and it seems to be growing more apropos as the summer wanes.

"Something More" by Switchfoot

Fumbling his confidence and wondering
Why the world has passed him by
Hoping that he's bent for more
Than arguments and failed attempts to fly

We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
Somewhere we live inside.

Dreaming about providence and
Whether mice and men have second tries
Maybe we've been living with our eyes half open
Maybe we're bent and broken

We were meant to live for so much more...

We want more than this world's got to offer
We want more than the wars of our fathers
And everything inside screams for second life
We were meant to live...

While ostensibly this song is told more for those who haven't found new life in Christ, something about it strikes me too. I think there is a cry in every Christian's heart to live for something more than mechanical Christianity. As I was standing in line at the Grapevine bookstore today, I saw a book cover on the rack nearby. The book was by the well-renowned John Piper (who I'm starting to read) and the title, in bold letters, cried out "Don't Waste Your Life!" Before, I would have laughed to myself and said, "Um, okay!" But the injuction hit me at just the right angle, like a shuttle in reentry.

Why would a Christian writer tell other Christians not to waste their lives? Possibly because we think that if we do the church-dance, and the tithe-dance, if we chant our meal-time blessings and mumble bed-time thanks, that's all God requires of us. But I don't think that's right.

While I haven't read the book in question, I would venture to guess (based on what I have read of Piper) that he's warning us against going through the motions of life thinking our bare-minimum Christianity is o-tay. Because while we will still get into heaven if our faith was in Christ, our life on earth will be mission-less, hollow, and hungry.

That's the ache I'm feeling. The hunger for a calling. That's the something more. Even as Christians, we feel the desire for something greater. And it's not foolish fancy that creates this desire, but God himself, stirring in us the hunger for a radical, dangerous journey with Him.

And the struggle, the division, is the battle between my hunger for meaning and the quick fixes of my flesh. I am reading Piper's mini-book "The Dangerous Duty of Delight" which discusses the Christian's duty to delight in God, as the completion of worship and reflection of His glory. In one chapter, he quotes C.S. Lewis, who concludes that man is "too easily pleased." The old man, the old nature, the flesh (whatever name you call it) gravitates toward pleasures that, while some may be good and appropriate, are really temporary fixes for a greater need. These minor delights take our minds off the true Delight of our Hearts. We are appeased by these dimmer candles and feel no need for the light of the Son.

But the candles all burn out. And the hole remains.

We were meant to live for something more than entertainments, possessions, human relationships, fame, financial security, power. Jesus gave us the answer, and it wasn't too difficult: "Seek first My Kingdom. Seek My righteousness. Everything else is just gravy."

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