Saturday, August 23, 2008

Carried Away

I am pretty sure I have obsessive tendencies. Case in point. I get obsessed with songs. My trip to Walmart last week, with their soothing selection of 80’s ballads playing overhead, reminded me of a certain obsession I had in jr. high with Richard Marx’s Right Here Waiting for You. Golly I loved that song! I still do! For a while, in fifth grade, it was Glory of Love by Peter Cetera. (Thanks to Karate Kid 2) If I go way back I can also remember the obsession I had with Sandi Patti’s Upon This Rock. That was in 2nd grade and yes, I know, I had odd tastes in music for a 2nd grader.

For as long as I can remember I have been prone to get stuck on one song for a period of time…a song that either speaks to my situation at the time, or something that just has a beautiful melody, or thought provoking words, or a combination of any number of things. Then, the obsession starts. I begin to listen to the song over and over, memorizing every note, and word and nuance. Sometimes it’s simply for the sheer beauty of it and what that alone does for me. As of late, though, because the songs seem to be rich with meaning, I listen and sing it over and over as a way to somehow etch its particular message onto my heart. Okay, here is where it starts to get really weird. There are weeks when I listen to that song, and only that song, over and over in the car, no doubt driving my kids totally wild. Here is a funny side note. I don’t really do it when Loren is in the car. That is likely due to that little part of me that knows it’s kind of insane. I honestly don’t think he knows that I do this…until now, of course.

Recently, I found a new song. It’s by Watermark, and, no doubt, one could argue that they are an obsession of mine in and of themselves. But, it’s because their music consistently seems to be a real reflection of what I am feeling or what it is I want to feel. I can’t tell you how many months of my life could be catalogued by their songs. This particular song, Friend for Life, is a song I have skipped over for a while, because it wasn’t familiar to me and I was more into some of their other songs. But, the other day, I listened to it and, in an instant, it became my new obsession. Take a look at the words to the chorus, though, and you might understand why. They are full of such meaning.

Wash over me, til I can’t be seen
Living Water, swallow me
Deepest River, wash me clean
Jesus, Savior more of thee
Jesus, more of thee
Come and ruin me with Your love
So no other is enough
Come and leave Your mark on me
Jesus, more of thee
Jesus, more of thee

Even writing them now, something wells up in me that I can’t fully grasp. I can’t explain why the picture of being completely engulfed…waves crashing over until I can’t be seen, sounds inviting to me. In fact, I feel like a great deal of my life has been custom-built around the very opposite be seen. But it does sound inviting to me. And over the last two weeks, as I have listened to the words of this song, I have begun to long for this level of surrender in my life. I know that being swallowed up sounds like death. In fact, it is. But, while the chorus of this song calls us to surrender and die to be ruined by his love so that nothing else satisfies, the verses tenderly remind us that the One who calls us took our pain, is our friend for life, is the One who hears our cries, the One who saves us. It reminds us that he is most definitely worthy of our trust.

I know, at least in my head, if not always in my heart, that more of Jesus equals fuller, richer, more abundant life. Things that come naturally to Him….things that he just is. More of me is just…well…me, and the things that come naturally to me…like selfishness, and pride, and timidity, and criticalness. And who needs more of that?

I guess I would put it this way. I have definitely dipped my toes in the Living Water. I have also been known to venture out beyond the shore. I have even, a time or two, ridden a wave by his grace. But, am I ready to surrender to the raging river and allow myself to be carried away? That’s the pull, the tug, the undertow that I’m feeling. God, make me brave.


The Coopers said...

Wow! What to say?!? Oh how I love my sister!!! Your writing is always something I can't wait to read and always need at the time. That surrendering is ever so hard, but will of course be so worth it if we can just trust and be so brave. I love you dearly and am so blessed to call you my little sister.

michelle said...

oh, Amanda... I share your love for the lyrics of Watermark, and have had such similar experiences with listening to the same song over and over... I SO hear you, and long for that same surrender. So strangely, your words touch my heart at such appropriate 'God' times... Love you- and thanks for the message :) ms

Amy said...

i love this, amanda. actually, i love you and your amazing heart for God (and music). you just forgot to mention you keep ALL of these songs (and countless others) tucked away somewhere in your brain to recall at a moment's notice. have a great week!

What's Going On... said...

Oh my goodness! So true! I again thank you for your honesty in your writing! Praise God for letting us hear his voice and his call on our lives through worhship and His Word!!

Becky said...

geeeeez .... you have the best blog ever. I'm glad I have you to look up to .. seriously. Thanks for sharing your heart ... and um .. I have a slight obsession like yours .. very similar tendencies with songs .. but not quite as crazy. (wink)

miss you .. hope you are well!!!