I've not blogged since "What Do I Know of Holy?" because that song was so inspiring and impacting that I didn't know where to go next. Tonight I was scrolling through my ipod to find something new to listen to, something I hadn't heard in a while. I came across a song by Todd Agnew. I attended his church in Memphis while I lived there for one of my internships back in 2004 and I've been listening to his music every since. The lyrics below are to one of his songs...I attempted to link to the music video but had technical difficulties so if you want to hear the song look it up on YouTube.
Still Here Waiting -Todd Agnew
It's cold outside
Or is that just the chill I feel inside from standing here
Steeping in my shame
I can't deny I'm surrounded by the very thing You freed me from
That's why I can't come home
I don't know where I turned around
From chasing what I always found completed me
More than I could dream
I don't know why I can't remain
Safe here where I always came to meet with you
And You always met with me
And You're still here waiting
I fail to see
Why You'd still be waiting to forgive me
After all that I have done
But I cannot say
That one time I returned and You had turned away
Your love never fails
You say, "Come home" and You'll be there
I can run into Your arms
This is the story of true love. Of true, unselfish, forgiving love. The kind of love so many of us seek after in our relationship with our parents, our spouses, with our closest friends. We have all screwed up. We've all done things we've regretted. As children we dread having to tell our parents we did something that will upset them, that will make them ashamed of us...or so we think. As young adults many of us get into all sorts of trouble, saying hurtful things to the people we love the most, acting out in rebellious ways that looking back seem so childish and selfish. As adults we sometimes take it to the next level, making mistakes which will impact not only our future but the futures of others around us.
As a Christ follower we are held to such high standards by society. Many people see being a christian as being a "rule follower," and its all about what you cannot do. And we are supposed to be perfect, and not "sin" because then we would be hypocrites right? This view is so horribly wrong. Christianity is about the saving grace of Jesus. If we were perfect we wouldn't need Him. And if we didn't need Him then why would God have sacrificed Him in the way He did?
Yea, so maybe I'm getting a little too "churchy" here but in looking at these lyrics I think about my relationship with God. I think of how for years I watched from a distance until I finally decided for myself that yes I believed in Him, yes I saw what He had done for me...that was such an intense spiritual time in my life. I gave all of my worries, my fears, my insecurities, and my failures over to Him, and He took it all away. There was such peace, such joy, such direction and purpose in my life. And yet....I fell again. I sinned again. I walked away again. How could this happen?
Just as the lyrics say, God completes me more than anything or anyone in this world ever could. So why did I screw up? Did I commit one of the big "cardinal sins" that everyone talks about? No, actually I didn't, but the interesting thing that I find to be true is that when your sin is not one of the blatant, "oh my gosh i can't believe you did it" kind of sins, it is actually more challenging to get rid of. Hang with me a sec... Think about it. Someone who is cheating on her husband is obviously in need of some direction, and everyone is able to see it, and can try to help her, and there are typically support groups and books for that. But what if your sin is in the shadows, what if it is something that only you and God can even identify? No one sees it so no one holds you accountable. That's the kind of sin/problem/issue that can start eating away at you, and unless you choose to take it before God it is going to linger and grow. And when you choose not to take it to God then a wall is built. A wall between you and God.
So over the past few years I've been going through this process of figuring out "Who am I?" and "What is my Purpose?" and let me tell ya, if you aren't talking with God, listening to God, then you won't ever hear the answers to those questions. The lyrics to this song remind me that no matter how bad we've screwed up, no matter how many times we've tried to "get clean" and failed, that if we go to God with a true, willing spirit He will be there with open arms. Its an amazing love He has for us. I don't deserve for Him to take me back but He is there waiting. So many people know the lyrics to "Amazing Grace" but how many of us actually sit and ponder on the true meaning and power of those words? God is waiting for us. He is waiting for us to see that being in a relationship with Him and serving Him offers an abundant life...its not about what we can't do, its about all HE has already done and all that we will be able to do through Him who will give us the strength, peace, and JOY that this world will never be able to match. I'm running to the Mercy Seat...