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Friday, January 18, 2008

Something Meaningful

Okay, here's the plan. Play a song, write whatever comes to my head and hope that it comes from my heart. The song: Drive On, Driver. The artist: Magnetic Fields. And I've decided, as the song changes, so will the writing. This song is only three minutes long, so I better get going.

I wonder what life would be like if all the anologies were true. What if our lives really did have a steering wheel? And what if we really were able to let someone else take the wheel? Jesus, if you're Carrie Underwood. The Holy Spirit, if you're Paul. Let Go and Let God, if you're a bumper sticker. That question came up in my head today. To what degree does the Spirit control us if we yield to Him? And to what degree do we control ourselves if we don't?

God designed us a certain way, but that design is contaminated now. We're sinners, driven by sin. So do I ever really have control over what I'm doing? No, I don't think I do. There is a fatalism in anything I do that comes naturally. If I want my life to change, I need to change. And without God's influence, I'm a closed system. A clock set in motion by a clockmaker who knows I'm a million minutes slow. So I can make choices. Big deal. God designed us with the ability to make choices, it hardly makes us sovereign over ourselves. (Crying Over by Patty Griffin just ended. Now Ray LaMontagne is telling me I'm Crazy if I think I'm in control. Hilarious.)

But now that I have the Holy Spirit living in me, does that make it even crazier to think He's in control? And, by the way, it really is nuts to think that a divine being is inside you controlling the way you think, speak, feel, and act. So . . . how does it work? I guess I think it's less like the car anology, and more like the clock anology. I'm not passed out in the back seat while Jesus drives me home. I feel like it's more along the lines of . . . the clockmaker has me cracked open and is fixing me. A lot.

And you know how sometimes people will be working with an inanimate object that "doesn't want" to cooperate? These shoelaces don't want to stay tied. (While Andrew Bird sings about Tables and Chairs.) This tablecloth doesn't want to stay down. This spot doesn't want to come out. In the clock analogy, I'm a clock that sometimes doesn't want to be fixed. Probably ticks God off, please forgive the pun and the flip reference to deified anger. Sometimes I want to be fixed, and He sets things straight, and I work a little bit more closely to His original design. Of course, at some point He just says, "I've gotta take this thing back into the shop."

But as long as my clock is still on the wall, (thanks, Patty, for chiming in with "Time Will Do the Talking," and again forgive the terrible clock puns) I have to keep going. Man, I love this song. Patty has a way of stopping me where I stand. Where was I? Oh, yeah . . . I want to be fixed. That's all. I can't know where I'm going. I can't ever realistically expect to be in control of my life, and that's okay. I just want to be fixed. Once I'm working how God intended, I think everything will go a lot better.

I like that game. I'll just enjoy the glow while I listen to Brett Dennen's admonition not to fear what I don't already know.

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