It’s the beginning of 2016. Let us just collectively say the thought that crosses our minds every year, “How in the world did (fill in the blank) year even catch up to us?!”
The calendar is on a new four digit number system, but what about last year? Or the year before that? Or the consecutive years before that year? How have they shaped our today?
We often carry those pressing regrets that crush us either under silent shame or the out-spewing of verbalized complaints, noting our “if only’s” and “what could have been’s” that had the potential to alter our past, swiftly alleviating our regrets of the present.
We’ve all had that song that sneaks into our conscious.
They re-occur in our head until the hushed hums convert to a full song from our mouths.
This is exactly what happened to me one day. As my aforementioned warning detailed, you can probably guess this would be a country song.
There is slang galore.
The song reminded me of how dearly we want to move on, but can we?
Can we lay to rest the “could have been’s” and “should have been’s” of 2015 and years prior?
Or are we going to breakdown, still moving forward through the motions, yet…stuck.
Break Down Here
Mile marker 215*, the gas gauge leanin’ on the edge of “E”,
An’ I’ll be dang’d if the rain ain’t pourin’ down.
There’s somethin’ smokin’ underneath the hood,
It’s a-bangin’ and a-clangin’ an’ it can’t be good,
An’ it’s another fifty miles to the nearest town.
Everythin’ I own’s in the back in a hefty bag;
I don’t know I’ll do if one more thing goes wrong*
I’d sure hate to break down here,
Nothin’ up ahead or in the rear view mirror.
Out in the middle of nowhere, knowin’.
I’m in trouble if these wheels stop rollin’.
So, God help me, keep me movin’ somehow.
Don’t let me start wishin’ [I was back there] now.
I made it this far without cryin’ a single tear.
I’d sure hate to break down here.
I’m hoping I won’t break down in the present out in the “middle of nowhere”-stuck. I’m hoping none of us do. If I stop now, there’s no movement- no chance for God to move in the process of further transformation.
I’ll confess, I stop out of my own freewill from the accusations thrown on me.
If only I would have done_____to prevent me from my health taking a down-plummet. [bites nails]
I shouldn’t be still going through these issues. [groans]
I must have done something wrong myself. [slumps head]
There’s a list that rehearses in my brain of every preventative measure…just as I’m sure there is for so many.
Many of us live in the past.
Looking to the past can actually have some perks. I’ve been able to chronicle life pretty well through the gift of honing in on the past. My parents would be the ones asking me “when did ____ event occur?” I could usually be right on target with the responses because I look to the past pretty readily.
But hyper-focusing on either the past, present, or future too extensively can leave us off-kilter.
We can live in the past- glorifying it to the point where we rewind, sit in the moment, mad that God would allow our vehicle to go places where we seem to be continually traversing in high altitudes- ears popping and no way down.
But I know I don’t want to “start wishing I was [back there] somehow,” trying to tweak the past to re-arrange the present.
I don’t want any of us to start wishing we had the ability to time travel with a Delorian. I think we’ve seen too many movies in this genre to know something goes really off. 😕
I pray that “God [would] keep me movin’ somehow,” as well as to all of my friends reading this. I pray that none of us would be confused into thinking that the future is nothing but a dead-end road leading us nowhere.
Mile Marker 215
I flipped to Romans 2:15 to check out if there was any correspondence to the mile marker 215 mentioned in the song since my husband, Michael and I were reading in Romans.
NOTE: I’m not usually one to do this. Just know I don’t hold the Bible in my hands, open it, then close my eyes as I run my finger to the resulting passage saying “Ah-ha! This is the answer to all my problems I’m facing now.”
….At least I haven’t done that since age ten where I did that
same trick, landing on a verse that I felt was telling me to high-tail it to Hollywood to becom
e a famous childhood actor. 😛
I could kind of tell thereafter that the method was a little flawed. 😉
I simply looked at the passage for fun, which is a verse speaking to the non-Jews.
“They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.”
That’s a mile marker for sure! Even though this verse should first be understood in the context of the culture, it’s still very relevant. We can either accuse ourselves of past mistakes, berating ourselves to the point of shame, or we can justify our actions, telling ourselves that we deserve to feel bitter about the past.
But can either option propel us forward?
Our gas tank may be on the edge of “E” but using Romans 2:15 as a fraction of a rubric, we can confess our desire to shame ourselves, relying on our own discipline and condemnation rather than God’s sweet conviction that brings about the opposite- a restoration which certainly trumps self-deprecation. And we can also confess our struggle to justify our actions that lead to self-superiority that veer us away from humbleness which creates harmony within accord to ourselves, others, and God.
“God keep me movin’ somehow”
So are we going to leave mile marker 215 (2015) with a bunch of dead weight “hefty bags” loading up our vehicle from the past? Are we going to be distracted by the rain pourin’ down? I pray that with everything, God will keep us all “moving somehow.” Thankfully, we do have a “somehow.” “It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect.” (Psalm 18:32) May this new year bring a newly inspired perspective on the past, present, and future for us all, and to live with a strength we could not have ourselves.
Many blessings and much love to all of my dear cyber friends-
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I edited a portion out of the song “Break Down Here” by Julie Roberts. In brackets are the words I altered to further fit the message. The mile marker 215 mentioned at the beginning is actually mentioned towards the end of the song, as well as the other portion marked with an asterisk. All rights reserved for the original version.