Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Quotey McQuoterton

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or how the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
-Theodore Roosevelt

Mmmmm. Ain't it great?!


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Another Motivational Thought on the Sacraments

Annointing of the Sick

Because that which doesn't kill you . . .
probably won't wait much longer.


Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Faith to Wait for Something More

Recently I heard George Michael's late 80's hit "Faith" on the radio. I don't think I'd ever fully listened to the words before . . . except for maybe the first line . . . at which point I just might change the station. Check out the lyrics below:

Well, I guess it would be nice
If I could touch your body.

I know not everybody has got a body like you.
But I've got to think twice before I give my heart away,

And I know all the games you play
Because I play them, too.

Oh, but baby I need some time off from that emotion,
Time to pick my heart up off the floor.
And when that love comes down without devotion,
Well it takes a strong man baby,
But I'm showing you the door.

'Cause I’ve gotta have faith....

Baby, I know you're asking me to stay.
You say, “Please, please, please, don't go away.”
You say I'm giving you the blues.
Maybe you mean every word you say;
I can't help but think of yesterday
And another who tied me down to loverboy rules. [Whatever that's about?]

Before this river becomes an ocean,
Before you throw my heart back on the floor,
Oh baby, I reconsider my foolish notion.
Well, I need someone to hold me,
But I'll wait for something more . . .

‘Cause I’ve got to have faith . . .

I find it interesting. I can’t quite tell if this song is about a man struggling to resist a woman who is throwing herself at him because he is afraid she wants a deeper commitment or because he knows she just wants a good time and nothing more. I tend to think it’s the latter. It’s interesting to hear the struggle of a man wresting with the temptation of using a woman. Sounds like he has done such things before, but now he realizes that it is unfulfilling in the long run. He wants to wait for something more. Reminds me of another song that I have a love/hate relationship with by Weezer called "Tired of Sex." Here is a portion of the lyrics:

I'm tired, so tired.
I'm tired of having sex.
I'm spread so thin, I don't know who I am....

I'm beat, beet red,
Ashamed of what I said.
I'm sorry, here I go.
I know I'm a sinner,
But I can't say no....

Tonight I'm down on my knees.
Tonight I'm begging you please.
Tonight, tonight, oh please,
Oh, why can't I be making love come true?

Wow! In the unpalatable lyrics to the entire song the unfulfilling nature of casual sex is captured powerfully. The man in the song is ashamed of his inability to say "no". I heard another similar message in a Three Days Grace song called "Animal I Have Become". Here's a portion of those lyrics:

I can't escape this hell;
So many times I've tried,
But I'm still caged inside.
Somebody get me through this nightmare.
I can't control myself....

So what if you can see the darkest side of me?
No one will ever change this animal I have become.
Help me believe it's not the real me.
Somebody help me tame this animal I have become.

Help me believe it's not the real me.
Somebody help me tame this animal.

Wow. That's pretty powerful, especially the cry, "Help me believe it's not the real me." Wow!

I was reading a section in It Takes a Family this morning regarding our culture's messages about human sexuality:

Kids conclude from what they see on TV that true love is validated through sexual engagement, that sex is the natural and normal result when two people like each other. And what follows from sex is, of course, true happiness. With all this sex going on outside of marriage, you'd think we should be a pretty sexually satisfied society. Of course, we are not. In a groundbreaking essay on the impact of pornography, Naomi Wolfe asked, "Does all this sexual imagery in the air mean that sex has been liberated--or is it the case that the relationship between the multi-billion-dollar porn industry, compulsiveness, and sexual appetite has become like the relationship between agribusiness, processed foods, supersize portions, and obesity? If your appetite is stimulated and fed by poor-quality material, it takes more junk to fill you up. People are not closer because of porn but further apart; people are not more turned on in their daily lives but less so." The sexual saturation of our culture has had the unexpected effect of depleting real intimacy in our lives. One irony of our times is that surveys show the most sexually satisfied women in America are: married and religious! Hardly what the media would have you believe.
That is dead-on! So all of this to say that George Michael's got a serious point (despite any of his other songs) when he says:

Well, I need someone to hold me,
But I'll wait for something more . . .
‘Cause I’ve got to have faith . . .

So I encourage you to have faith, faith to wait for something more - be it with the one you are already with or with the love-of-your-life yet to come. We are all tempted at various times to seek fulfillment in physical intimacy with someone we are not married to (or in selfish ways with the one we are married to). But we can start shaping our affections towards what is good and true and beautiful from this moment on. We can learn to trust God so profoundly that we can "wait for something more" knowing He'll be faithful to provide the love that truly fulfills. Saying “no” to selfish or desperate desires is part of how we exercise our faith in our loving God.


Psalm 37:3-5 "Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass."

"It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. Go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." - Jesus
(Matthew 9:12-13