Saturday, May 29, 2010

Smell the Color 9

When I was in high school, one of my favorite songs was "Smell the Color 9" by Chris Rice. If you haven't heard it, please go listen to it right now. I felt like it was written just for me because it describes so perfectly what was going on in my life when it came out. I was a teenage bundle of mess, but at least I was honest about it!

This song has remained one of my favorites. Every time I hear it, the sort of "whoosh" at the beginning prompts me to take a deep breath and then exhale. And if you have ever spent more than 30 seconds around me, it is pretty obvious that I need that reminder (probably more frequently than I get it!) It stirs something in me. It has always been on my iPod in one playlist or another, but for some reason I haven't heard it much in the past couple of years.

Today, I finally heard it again. As I crawled through the crazy southbound traffic at 2pm, I got a really good chuckle out of the line "and I've never heard the calling..." because I can't really say that anymore. At the same time, I remember that feeling of desperately wanting to hear God's call on my life and at the same time fighting so furiously against it (because deep down I wanted to hear God speak my choices!) There was the constant battle between the fear of never knowing, seeing, or being reassured and the fear of having to cross that line and no longer be able to deny anything.

I need more of this song in my life. Not because I still need the validation it gives for the questions and fears, but because it reminds me of that hunger that absolutely consumed my life. Everything I did was consumed by that deep hunger, that longing to be in the presence of God, even for a fleeting moment. Looking back now, those moments of searching were some of the most holy of my life. Even in Divinity School, those times spent exploring were so incredibly life-giving I probably wouldn't have survived without them.

I miss my traveling companions. I crave time with my fellow wanderers. I continue to seek explorers and adventurers who will allow me to tag along on their journeys. And with the strum of a few guitar strings, I feel that little twinge of hunger beginning to grow once again.

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