Recently, I’ve been sort of oddly obsessed with Matisyahu’s newest song, “One Day,” from his soon-to-be-released album, “Light,” coming out next month.
At first, the music itself gave me a lot of emotion to work with. The way the song handles the frustration and injustices of this world through a simple four chord progression to bring hope is amazing. There’s something in the fact that this chord progression is just about the same as The Beatles’ “Let It Be” and Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry.”
And then I had a moment.
I was sitting at work at ResTV just working diligently and I decided to take a quick music break. I opened up the song because I needed to feel inspired and this was quite consistent for me in the last few listening sessions. It one of those moments where the song finally struck me beyond just the way the music made me feel, but it actually spoke for me.
The first two lines did it for me:
“Sometimes I lay under the moon and I thank God I’m breathing/And I pray, don’t take me soon, ’cause I am here for a reason.”
I don’t think I thank God enough for anything–a simple breath, the people in my life, the things He’s provided for me. I tend to worry and focus on what is wrong with my life instead of simply being thankful for what has been good and what there is to celebrate. Can I lay in my bed at night before I sleep and just thank God for the air that flows through my lungs and the heart that beats, though with a murmur? And as I move to the second line, it hit me even harder.
Yes, I do not want the Lord to take my life. I enjoy the things and people of this world. But most of all, I have always wanted to be a person of great influence and impact, one who actually made a difference and have God use during my time here on earth. But I have never prayed with urgency and deep desire to not die because of an understanding that I am here with purpose, and that I need to act now.
I have always known that everyone on this earth has purpose. God created each of us uniquely, but what does it mean to be able to lie down at night, thank God for a simple breath, and pray that He would please keep me alive so I may continue pursuing the hopes that this world would return to its original intention of shalom? If I am praying that God wouldn’t take me up to heaven in order to pursue His justice here on earth, then I’d better be damn sure I do it, right?
I am an ENFP, a champion idealist. Songs like this one inspire me, shape me, affirm me, and move me. I hear this song and I can hear the pains of the suffering and feel the weight of the injustices of this world. At the same time, my faith allows me to firmly believe there will be that “one day” that the song preaches. But when understanding more of who I am I tend to look towards the future and its possibilities. I focus on what could be and, and there is a vision planted in my head, but not too specifically. That is where my frustrations come into play.
I get angry that there is injustice, and so my solution is to look towards the hope that God is just and He will come and save. But my lack for immediate action further complicates and fuels my frustrations and so I get overwhelmed once again.
It’s an interesting dynamic, yes, but at the same time it scares me to think how much my life would be lived differently if I had more urgency and purpose. In talking to my roommate Lisa, she told me something that hit me–it’s not simply about what we do and it’s not just simply on us. God desires to partner with us and help us through these times we fail and want to be the person He created us to be. He wants us to look to Him in all the choices we make in our everyday lives, and simply pay attention.
So my prayer isn’t that I wake up the next day a whole new person, but a person who has a deep desire to become that person and will take the steps to do so. But I’m not alone–God isn’t just waiting for me to do His will, He’s waiting for me to do it with Him.
So listen to the song.
This is Amy Hu signing off for July 13th, 2009.