Friday, September 17, 2010

who we are - who we want to be - finding freedom

If you have not figured it out already, I have a bit of an eclectic taste in music and music in general plays an important part in my life. Music is one of the big ways that God has spoken to me in the past and He continues to do that still.

That said, this blog comes another CD I was listening to. I was listening to Bon Jovi's CD Have a Nice Day. There are two songs that got me thinking. At first they do not seem to be related, but the more I have pondered the lyrics, the more I have seen how they do tie together.
Note: I have chosen not post the recordings of these songs as the videos I was finding were a little more dicey than I was willing to post on my blog, but you can find them online if you so choose. Just know that there is a reason why I did not choose to post them.
Regardless of the content of music videos, there is something running through these lyrics that I think is worth stopping to consider.

The first song that got me started thinking about this is called Welcome to Wherever You Are. The lyrics are the following:
Maybe we're all different but we're still the same
We all got the blood of Eden running through our veins
I know sometimes it's hard for you to see
You're caught between just who you are and who you want to be
If you feel alone and lost and need a friend
Remember every new beginning is some other beginning's end

(Chorus) Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life; you made it this far
Welcome, you got to believe
That right here, right now
You're exactly where you're supposed to be
Welcome to wherever you are

When everybody's in and you're left out
And you feel you're drowning in a shadow of a doubt
Everyone's a miracle in their own way
Just listen to yourself, not what other people say
When it seems you're lost, alone and feelin' down
Remember everybody's different; just take a look around


Be who you want to be
Be who you are
Everyone's a hero
Everyone's a star
When you want to give up and your heart's about to break
Remember that you're perfect; God makes no mistakes

Now, obviously some of the "theology" in those lyrics is a not sound. But I also think there is truth to the overall message of the song. Most of us have been in the situation of feeling stuck between who we are and who we want to be, or we feel like we have been left on the outside of a group we want to be in. We go through times when we feel lost, alone, or are full of doubt. The verses of the songs describe a common human condition.

The chorus welcomes people to where they are, to what their life is. That is the first thing that I believe needs to happen for us to move forward in life. We need to acknowledge where we are and where we have come from. It is then that we can make choices to move forward and to change things. That is when we can work to "be who we want to be." That is when we will be able to keep going when we want to give up.

[Rabbit-trail here that may stir up a bit in people. I am not stating fact here . . . just musing.]
When I first read the line "Remember that you're perfect; God makes no mistakes." I found myself saying I disagree with the first part and agree with the second part. But the more I think about it, the more I begin to wonder if I can cautiously agree with the first part. No, we are not perfect on our own. No, we cannot achieve that while we live on this earth. But we are made in the image of a perfect God and while our image of Him that we portray while here on earth may be flawed because of The Fall, we do still reflect that image to some degree. Now, before someone jumps all over me, I am not saying that I am perfect or that I can attain perfection on my own. I am just wondering if since I am made in the image of God and I am made exactly the way He created me to be I am "perfect in God's eyes."
[Okay, back to my original post now . . .]

As I started to think about this second song that has lyrics that caught my attention, I started to see how finding freedom and pursuing that begins with seeing where we are - who we are - and having a picture of where we want to be - who we want to be. If we do not start there, with what the last song talked about, I do not think we can find freedom.

The second song is called Bells of Freedom. The lyrics are as follows:
I have walked all alone, on these streets I call home
Streets of hope, streets of fear
Through the sidewalk cracks time disappears
I was lost, on my knees on the eve of defeat
As I choked back the tears
There's silent scream no one could hear
So far away from everything you know is true
Something inside that makes you do what you got to do

(Chorus) Ring them bells, ring them loud
Let them ring here and now
Just reach out and ring the Bells of Freedom
When your world's crashing down
Like you've lost every round
Stand your ground
And ring the bells of freedom

Up the steps of the church
Through the fields and the dirt
In the dark I have seen
That the sun still shines for the one who believes
So far away
So full of doubt and needing proof
Just close your eyes and hear the sounds inside of you

When we feel the tension of who we are and who we want to be, we often realize that there are things that are keeping us back from becoming who we want to be. We find that there are things we need to find freedom from. We have to face our fear and our doubt about becoming who we want to be, so that we can find the freedom to become who we want to be.

Ultimately, as disciples of Christ, who we want to be should be in line with who God wants us to be - the person we are called to be in Scripture. This will take willingness to obey on our part, but I do think that it is worth it. Finding freedom from all in this world that Satan uses to hold us in captivity is not easy, but as I am learning, it is definitely worth it.

Anyways, I hope I was actually able to connect my thoughts that went with these two songs in a coherent manner. It makes sense in my head, but putting it into words was a little more difficult than I thought it would be.

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