Listening to a younger me

I am listening to my own voice from 3 years ago. I am talking about God and faith and life and love. I sound so calm and relaxed. It’s like I had just taken a shot of whiskey and smoked a cigar. My voice sounds different. My parents were raised in Western Pennsylvania and it’s coming out in my accent on the recording.

I talk about how I think a life centered on Christ is the way to contentment. I makes me want to follow Jesus more closely. I say the words with no reservations or pretensions. I sound like I completely believe what I am saying. I realize that in the present, I have been distant from God. Not doubting so much; more so at arms length or something.

I know God can speak through people. I didn’t expect it to be a 21 year old me.

Sometimes I feel like a salesman who doesn’t believe in his own product. Better yet, doesn’t believe his product exists, but there I am … speaking about faith more like a believer and less like a telemarketer.

At the end of the recording, a younger me says, “Thanks and God bless.” Why don’t I say that more to people? Why am I afraid now and wasn’t then? Where has my boldness gone?

I think recordings and writings can act as little time capsules, but be careful … a younger you might turn out to be a more contented you.

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I think I found myself a cheerleader

I am at an event, set to preform at the end of the night. I sit in my chair, feet planted firmly into the hardwood, and listen. One by one, I watch other, seemingly less talented performers go before me. I judge them. I judge their diction. Their volume. Their speaking voice. Their choice of words. Their lack of flow. Their inability to memorize their material. I judge every aspect of their performance. After an hour of non-verbal condescension, I realize what I am doing.

I take a deep breath in, centering myself in the room. I am very concentrated on the pace of my breath and tell myself something:

It is not about being better or worse than anybody. It is about realizing that you simply have something to say and it is valuable.

For some of the other performers, the act of getting up on stage is like moving a mountain. Others are able to communicate the pain of past trauma to a group and receive positive feedback. I realize that too often I am playing the comparison game and competing for no reason instead of celebrating with (albeit less polished) people.

We live in a world of comparison where we compare sons and daughters to see who’s more attractive and smarter.

I want to stop trying to beat someone, stop beating myself up and give the mic a beating. As someone once told me,”Read critically, write consciously, speak clearly and tell your truth.” I want to be more of a cheerleader and less of a critic.

Son of the morning

Turn sons and daughters into throw away cash.
Dry you all up quicker than your cigarette ash.
I am the raven who comes in the night.
I’m the son of the morning here to steal your light.

Oh son of the morning I will cut you down.
When you fall from grace all will hear the sound.
You who brought nations low now tremble in fear.
When ya hear my voice and know that I’m near.

Well what’s it like on top of that peak?
With all the slithering souls ya struggle to keep.
Would it be so bad if I got some that fame?
And every nation cried out my beautiful name.

I am constant no time for your tricks.
Seen your pride decay, turn well into sick.
What I made was good now deal with that.
Cause where your headed there’s no commin’ back.

On top of mount Zion’s peak.
On top of mount Zion’s peak.

…and sing to me

My heart
Swelling.
My love
Growing.
For you
Are mine.

And I am yours.

My lungs
Filling.
My voice
Straining.
For you
Are mine.

And I am yours.

Bring me to my knees.
Bring me to tears.
Bring me from death.
Bring me to life.

Bring me
and sing to me.
For you
are mine.

And I am yours.

My skin
Sweating.
My mouth
Watering.
For you
are mine.

And I am yours.

My head
Shaking.
My body
Seizing.
For you
Are mine

And I am yours.

Bring me back home
Bring me fully
Bring me from pain
Bring me to joy.

Bring me
and sing to me.
For you are mine

And I am yours.