Do you have an anthem? A song that no matter what is happening: good, bad, great, horrible, terrible, fantastic, amazing, spectacular, the Pit of Despair (cough cough) [gratuitous Princess Bride reference…] It is guaranteed to lift your mood, give you strength, make you dance, have you hollering out the words - even if you don’t know them all. Most people I know report that it takes a combination of lyrics and music that hit you in the “feels” to make a really good anthem song.
I have one, which might seem like a bizarre choice, until you look at the words. I’ve said how much I like Latin before, right…? It’s the whole of Mozarts’ Requiem. Here is the English translation. It’s not as busy as some of his other stuff, but that’s probably because he didn’t finish it, someone else had to. (Wiki)
On the flip side, I also like Pharrell Williams’ Happy. How’s that for vastly different song choices!
I have Requiem on in the background while I’m writing. Having a tendency to be immediacy focussed these days, I really wanted to share with you how it impacts me and draws me out of my insular self and helps me make the transition into Gods’ Warrior Woman… Problem is, I’m enjoying it so much that I’m not actually getting too much done!
I had a thought that the Psalms are kind of like 150 anthem songs, or ‘theme songs’ depending on your personal preference for categorising. I know people have described them as David et als’ diary, also as good examples of working CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy - making the shift from thinking in a negative way to a positive way). I’d love to have been a fly on the wall and heard the original music, I often wonder if it was lyrically generous like Sons of Korah today, or was it more expressive and emotive, as some of the lyrics suggest?
Whatever the music was like, David, in moments of feeling like garbage, or like running people over with a truck, worked himself through with God to the point of choosing strength.
Even on the best days, we need to make a deliberate point of choosing to remain in the Presence of God. If we treat God like Superman; calling on Him to help us out in times of stress, but don’t build up a relationship in the everyday, is a very world-focussed way of dealing with things.
How much more glorious would Lois Lane have found her relationship with Superman, if she had known who Clark Kent was underneath his every day disguise? Can you imagine the joy of the intrigue, the opportunities to participate in his life in its fullness?
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NIV)
I have a vision of a brain, that lights up as God flows through each synaptic connection. Our brains have ‘plasticity’, which means that they are mouldable and changeable all our lives. Sometimes it takes a lot of hard work, and sometimes God will do things in an instant, but we are not bound by our thoughts, nor by our feelings.
This is where tools are so amazingly helpful! I have a bunch of cards, the size of business cards, that I write things on that I need to remember. I have some that I write my prophetic words on, and they are in two business card flip folders, one in my handbag and one on my desk.
Then there are some that I write other things on. One of these says “Fact, Not Feeling”. It is most recently pinned to the wall beside my bed, because that’s where I spend my hours in the (literal) dark when my body says no.
It is my way of reminding myself to choose strength. To remember that just because it feels like the world is going to ‘Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire*’ in a Handbasket, does not mean that God has changed. He is exactly the same to me as He was, and I have not changed. Feelings, pain, ability, none of these things change who I am, and they definitely don’t change who I am to Him or in Him.
Minute by minute, choosing strength to me does not mean faking something. Rather it means persistence and consistency. Finding tools that assist your process, receiving help when you need it, kicking condemnation in the butt, learning that rest is not bad and even better, learning to soak whenever you can.
Choosing strength doesn’t mean that garbage doesn’t happen, but it does ask different questions in the middle of it. “What do you want or need me to know about this God?” “Who does God say I am?” “Who is God to me?”
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5 (NIV‘84)
I love Psalm 130. The word ‘wait’ in this verse means the same as it means here, it means to bind and splice, to twist yourself into God, as if you were making a rope of four or more strands. The word ‘hope’ is a really deceiving translation in the English. In the Hebrew it comes directly from what God has said, His ‘word’ causes the ‘hope’. What He has said, creates the ‘hope’.
The work we put in with God to create a strong relationship will mean that when we need it, His voice, the things He does say to us and the things He has said to us in the past, the Truths we know about Him, the Truths we know about ourselves in Him create Hope and will help us to choose strength, even when all other things may seem/feel/look stacked up against us.
Warriors don’t stop being warriors in the middle of a battle. In fact, that’s what we’re trained for, and that’s why we need to train.
You are already amazing.
God Bless You Very Much
*My Fair Lady reference