Lost the Plot

I’ve been in a mood lately. Well, actually I have been in several varying moods lately, but this one in particular has been to listen to a lot of the music from my childhood/teens. Most of the music is Christian stuff, since that is all we could listen to when my Mom was monitoring. ūüėČ

But thankfully, growing up in the mid-late eighties and nineties means Christian music was actually pretty good (at least I think so!) and contained, in my opinion, some pretty amazing, revolutionary lyrics depending on the song/band. My personality tends to be drawn towards sad stories in books, music, and movies – but I am also drawn to really serious, heavy stuff. Not heavy metal music, but heavy lyrics. Lyrics that call unto the deep places in us that we bury and hide and distract ourselves from far too often – places that when sparked produced butterflies in our stomach and a tightness in our chest.

One song that popped up on my playlist today from 1996 was exactly like that. It touched a deep place in my spirit as a 13-year-old girl and it continues to reach me as a nearly 30-year-old woman: Lost the Plot by the Newsboys. Despite this band having way too many cheesy or funny songs, this song (and handful of their others) is powerful and moving and leaves me with a reverent and healthy fear of the Lord once again.

Have you heard it?
No?
Remember the song, but not the words?


(Below are the words, since that is the whole point.)

With all the media hype surrounding political and social changes, it can become confusing why we’re really here. Our happiness, the American Dream, and society’s acceptance of us are not the point of the story we’re here to live out. Though Christ calls us to love, he calls us to direct people to Him.
He is the story.
He is the plot.
He is the happy ending.
Allowing ourselves or others to live in our comfort and sin leaves us comfortable, distracted, and apathetic. Grace is a means to enter the throne room. God’s kindness is so we can be led with grace to repentance.

Grace is not our reason to live comfortably, while we ignore the voice of our Shepherd for the lure of our culture.

May we not be so easily distracted.
May we remember the greatest story ever told.
May we not become a free-range sheep.
May we remember that Christ is not Santa Claus – our happiness is not the plot.
May we remember his sacrifice.
May we remember the joy of our salvation.
May we remember our first love and count the days until His glorious redeeming return.

When you come back again, would you bring me something from the fridge?
Heard a rumor that the end is near, but I just got comfortable here.

*sigh*
Let’s be blunt.
I’m a little distracted.
What do you want?
Headaches and bad faith are all that I’ve got.
First I misplaced the ending then I lost the plot.

Out among the free range sheep, while the big birds sharpen their claws.
For a time we stuck with the Shepherd, but you wouldn’t play Santa Claus.

*sigh*
Let’s be blunt.
We’re a little distracted.
What do you want?
Once we could follow, now we cannot.
You would not fit our image, so we lost the plot.
One we could hear you, now our senses are shot.
We’ve forgotten our first love – we have lost the plot.
Lost the plot.
Lost the plot.

Yeah when I saw you for the first time, you were hanging with a thief and I knew my hands were dirty and I dropped my gaze. And then you said I was forgiven and you welcomed me with laughter. I was happy ever after – I was counting the days.
When you come back again, we’ll be waitin’ for ya.
When you comin’ back again?
We’ll be ready for ya.
Maybe we’ll wake up when – maybe we’ll wake up when – you come back again.

LIES.

Let’s be blunt.
We’re a little unfaithful – what do you want?!
And are you still listening?
Cause we’re obviously not!
We’ve forgotten our first love – we have lost the plot.
Why you still callin’?
You forgave – we forgot.
We’re such experts at stallin’ – now we’ve lost the plot.
Lost the plot.
Lost the plot.
Lost the plot…

When you come back again, could you bring me something from the fridge?
Heard a rumor that the end is near, but I just.
got.
comfortable.
here.

 

 

Looking Up

I think it is easy to lose faith in hard circumstances when our eyes neglect the need to look up.

One of the most comforting verses for me the past few years has been:
Psalms 46:10a, “Be still and know that I am God…”

When the world feel heavy, we forget we’re not meant to carry it.
When circumstances seem bleak, we forget who is in control.
We are so used to moving and striving and earning, that we’ve lost the ability to just be still in the midst of chaos and turmoil and fix on our eyes on He who is faithful and permanent.

A friend posted this on his status today and it was so timely:
“Just because your dream is delayed doesn’t mean it’s denied.” – Pete Wilson

Lord, help my unbelief – increase my faith in things I cannot see.

“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him…Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened¬†in his faith and gave glory to God,¬†being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”
– Rom. 4:18a, 20-21

Growing Up

I am officially less than 6 months away from turning 30 and like every natural cliche, it has made me think a lot about what it means to grow up. We all know people who are considered adults who never seem to be able to act like one. We also have known those few (and what I would consider beautiful) souls who have been somewhat more mature than others despite their age – even since childhood. Six (years) going on thirty, if you will.

There are certain markers that imprint on someone who has come of age and transitioned into adulthood. Unfortunately for some, they will never make it. Many outside factors need to happen in order for someone to successfully evolve into a mature, capable adult. Now, I am not an expert by any means – I’m just speaking in general terms. If you look at any Coming-of-age literature or young adult literature, the protagonist typically encounters various trials that help him/her to discover what they’re¬†capable¬†of, see the world in a new light, find their inherent gifts and purpose, etc.

So in term of generalities and my varied observations, here are two things that I think ¬†are indicators of being officially grown up – or at least on your way. ūüôā

As I have encountered challenges in my life, they have all forced me to view myself in an accurate manner. Sometimes because I am my mother’s daughter and, therefore, very stubborn it took numerous times for me to finally “get” whatever I was missing. I finally realized just how utterly and appallingly HUMAN I can be. I was self-centered, unforgiving, callous, over emotional, etc – and it took several trial and error circumstances for me to even wake up and notice it. Eventually, God was able to open my stubborn eyes and allow me to see myself as I really was in an effort to help me begin the process of removing these negative and immature characteristics from my life.

Now, I am certainly not fully “there” and I often fall back into old ways, but the point I am trying to make lies in the maturity that just comes with awareness. Think about it, most of the adults who act like children you might know… aren’t they all in some way or another completely oblivious or unwilling to admit the ways in which they continue to act like a child? Someone who does not see their flaws or is unwilling¬†to admit to them can never move beyond them.

Perhaps an even more important characteristic of a maturing person is the ability to see the big picture when it comes to people.

Every person is a unique individual who has a specific background that they’ve viewed from a personal lens no one else can see through. How well are you able to see where other people are coming from? How easily can you put yourself in other people’s shoes?


To me, one of the greatest marks of an immature person is the inability to think, see, or feel outside of themselves. They’re easily put off, offended, and defensive. Think about how often you have gotten upset at someone because they didn’t respond to something the way you would have? Or because they were hurt over something you felt was no big deal? Maybe they don’t respond to things that way because they had an Aunt when they were little who did and it always came across negatively? Maybe they were hurt by something you wouldn’t have been because all they heard growing up was that they weren’t good enough, or that their opinion didn’t matter – etc.

Each person has a story. It’s never the same as yours, even if you grew up with the same family, friends, school, socioeconomic background, or religion. I am not trying to say that opinions can’t be conflicting because they certainly can! I am really trying to address how we interact with people.

The other day I got SO MAD at this driver who was riding my bumper for over 2 miles. It feels like bullying when people do that and one of the things I don’t handle very well is bullying. This is because in MY story, I have always had a tendency to get picked on and it’s made me quite sensitive to it. BUT then that driver passed me and I saw that it was a Mom with a bunch of little kids in the backseat. It made me stop and consider that maybe she was rushing to get home because her kids were overtired and exhausting her. Maybe she was an only child and she has never easily managed the stress of loud or chaotic environments. I really have no idea. Isn’t that the point? She could just have been a rude driver, but I just have no idea? We don’t ever really know where people are coming from until we stop to take the time to find out.

That is growing up. Growing up means it can’t all be about you. Growing up means other people eventually have to start to matter. Growing up means being aware of your own short comings and showing grace when other people come up short.

Growing up is about gaining perspective.

What about you?? What do you think are the indicators of a maturing person??