Why Are You Running?
When I was in college, I developed a love for playing the guitar. Looking back, I’d say that pushing through the pain of callouses served me well. My guitar became a refuge, and a handy resource to pay the bills when I was going broke on a commission-based income.
But in all my years of playing, I only wrote one song. The song was recorded late one night in my dorm room, but has been lost in the fifteen years of life that have passed since it was written.
Earlier this week, I was driving down the road, listening to my iPod shuffle through the thousands of songs that I’ve collected over the years.
Breaking the sound of well-produced music was the familiar voice of a nineteen-year-old kid and a scratchy, dorm-room recording.
I pulled to the side of the road and listened to every word.
That nineteen-year-old had something to say.
He hears so many lies, he forgot the truth.
Lying in his tears every night, he screams, “God where are you?”
Why he’s running, he’ll never grasp. But if he doesn’t stop right now, he won’t last.
He’s scared to take a step.
He’s scared to stand still.
He’s just so tired of running, of running up that hill.
And I know, he can’t do it alone, so I will stand by his side.
Just to hear him say those words, “Change my life.”
It’s time for change. It’s time to move on.
He tries so hard, but he’s just not that strong.
When he falls, he sees what was wrong.
He was too blind to see, I was there all along.
He’s taken that step. He’s not standing still.
I am carrying him, I am carrying him up that hill.
And he knows, he can’t do it alone.
That’s why I stand by his side.
Because I smile when I hear, “Change my life.”
It had been almost fifteen years since I had listened to those words, but they couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. The song was written from God’s perspective, looking down at his children, wanting them to know that they can’t do it alone.
I needed to hear that this week.
Never Give Up
Each of us is born with an inherent dream, placed on our hearts by God, that calls us to soar. Our passions and purposes echo this desire. When we become still, we can feel its imprint. When we quiet ourselves, we can hear its familiar voice.
But somewhere along the way, our dreams collide with our fears. Whether it’s the opinion of others, lack of money, or impatience, we begin to justify why our dreams just don’t make sense.
That’s when we grow up and settle for something more realistic. That’s when we laugh at old pictures as we convince ourselves that we were childish and irresponsible back then. That’s when a part of us dies.
While my love for performing has undergone a metamorphosis in recent years, I still have a dream to perform—to speak and inspire people. Although I loved it, playing the guitar was my caterpillar phase. It was like squirming around on a tree branch when all I really wanted to do was fly.
It wasn’t my dream, simply a precursor—a glimpse.
Hearing those words this week reminded me to never give up—to never quit—on my dream.
The Kid in Us
I’m beginning to believe that the most tragic thing in the world is someone who knows their dream but they’re unwilling to pursue it because they’d rather be comfortable—because they’re scared of change.
But there’s a kid in each one of us that isn’t afraid—the pure and true version of ourselves that is buried beneath the landslide of life.
As I became quiet and listened to those words from my younger self, the years of life and responsibility and kids and hardship that had covered me up began to crack away.
I have to admit, I love that kid. I want to hang out with him. He makes me laugh. His eyes are filled with hope and he has endless energy that is fueled by God’s purpose on his heart.
That kid reminded me how to fly.