If it doesn't count for Christ, it doesn't count.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

. . . and you give yourself away

I have been trying to write this one for close to a year now.  I just cannot get it out. But, it is rolling around in here and I need to expel it and move on.  There is a video link following this post.  (Nothing new for me but it might help explain what this is all about.)

I know this guy. He gets a little weird sometimes. Not Charlie Sheen weird, but . . . still. The song in the video is one of his favorites and this is his favorite version.  I know his other favorite version, so I'll post that runner-up version on FaceBook sometime.  He tells me that he listens to this song often, but the weird thing is, he doesn't hear -in his mind-  the lyrics as they are being sung.  He "hears" different words altogether. All except for the "you give yourself away" part.  He hears that loud and clear and it haunts him.

Bono, of U2, wrote this song about the conflicts between his life on the road as a big star and his private life at home, trying to have a somewhat normal family life.  Most people probably hear a song about a love that is quite a disappointing one-way affair.

This guy I know hears something altogether different. He hears a song about how he gave himself away - his life, whatever he was or would become - to some long ago idea that most people don't get what they want out of this life. He was in the most group. All you can do is give it your best as long as you have that to give, and hope that your best holds out and works out to a respectable end.  His best always fell short. Not that he didn't try a few things . And the song covers those excursions very well.  He hears how another of life's storms stirs on the near horizon as his latest failure twists in his side like a thorn.  And he waits for something to work, something to happen.

He is forced to recall those matters he misread, things that appeared to be one thing, good, but were revealed to be quite another, failure. "Not meant to be.  Fate." He consoles himself and hopes those others affected will buy that one again. But, there is the agonizing wait, the search for the next chapter. Grabbing hold to what he thinks is it - the one. Having that, he is no better off with it than without it.

Trying . . . just trying . . . is so hard, and he can't say why.  It is so easy to tear down what he's trying to build up. And all that trying gives is not enough. And he waits and wonders, "Where are you?"  And again, with or without, makes no difference.

And then he is pounded. "And you give yourself away. And you give yourself away. And you give, and you give, and you give yourself away."  Not just once! Oh, no! He keeps on giving himself away, as if he has no choice. And he is gone.   And he struggles to remember, "What to? What for?"  Mediocrity? A day dream?  Air castles?

Finally, he is bound by his decisions, his choices, all that he accepted and allowed. The bruises are tender, but he tries to keep them covered. If the facade holds they don't show. After all this, there seems to be nothing out there to win, and he has nothing left to lose.  It is obvious that he can never have that, and yet, he must continue . . .  With - turmoil, defeat, decline, failure, pressure, tension . . . Without - hopelessness, done, uselessness . . .

And then, the chorus hits harder, "And you give yourself away . . ."

This guy could not tell you what it was that he gave himself away to. It was too long ago, and it was obviously the wrong thing.  He just knows he did, and he can't get himself back. He is not so different from a lot of people.  Not that being in that crowd helps.

So, I had a talk with this guy I know.  (As you can see, he is a pretty weird dude. I doubt he will ever let me  reveal his identity, so I think I'll just refer to him as Guy Noe from now on. He is an interesting character and might show up in another blog or two.)

Guy, all that is from a life past, a life you can't do anything about.  Christ came into your life a short while back and when He did He made you a new person! He changed your life. You've said the same many times yourself. What you have to understand, and live, is that Jesus Christ is your deliverer. He is your redeemer!

Jesus has redeemed you from whatever it was that you gave yourself to whenever it was.  No matter how strong that hold was on you, no matter how heavy the chains, the stronghold has been broken and the chains have been loosed! The only hold your past has on you is the hold you keep on it. Your past no longer defines you. If you are serious about your relationship to Christ, then Jesus now defines you. You gave your life to Jesus. He holds you now. It is time to give your past to Him as well. Give Him everything that gets in the way of being and doing all that God has planned for you and all that Jesus has set you free to be and to do.  Nothing holds you back from that now!

God made you and wired you for something special, something He had planned for you. As I have said, Jesus set you free to do just that, and the Holy Spirit that lives within you has made you able. You may have come up short in life before, but now you are the TOTAL PACKAGE!  You have given yourself to Jesus.  He will never let you go, so you cannot give yourself to anything else. You could not and would not live without Jesus in your life, and now you will forever live with Him. Your life is not behind you. Stop looking back there!  Look forward. There is your life! Sure, you gave yourself away. Jesus got you back! And Jesus has your back! 

Psalm 139:13-17

 13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
      and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
      Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
      as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
 16 You saw me before I was born.
      Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
   Every moment was laid out
      before a single day had passed.

 17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
      They cannot be numbered!

John 10: 27-29 "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand."

Luke 22:31-32 (NLT)  “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”

Here is Guy's song. I hope you enjoy it.