At the risk of self-discovery…

I recently read Anne Lamott’s novel “Crooked Little Heart”, and as I was finishing it I came to the conclusion that all of her writing could be summed up in this way: We are messed up people, living in a messed up world. We screw up all the time, but some of us are able to hide it better than others. And life is still beautiful. We are selfish, caring only about ourselves and our needs. We do whatever it takes to try and make ourselves comfortable, no matter who is hurt by it. We go to great lengths to protect our illusions of perfection. But every once in a while we help a friend, we allow ourselves to be inconvenienced, we put aside our rights. And life is beautiful.

In today’s culture, it is impolite to tell someone if they are doing something wrong. We avoid straight talk at all costs; we even choose our churches by looking for masturbatory teaching. We are afraid to show others who we really are, in part, on the chance that they won’t like us any more or want to be around us. But I think Sara Groves is getting at something in the chorus of her song “Every Minute” when she sings “And at the risk of wearing out my welcome / At the risk of self-discovery / I’ll take every moment / And every minute that you’ll give me”. We are more afraid that we will discover ourselves than we are that others will know who we are. Why else are we afraid of silence? Why else do we surround ourselves with music, T.V., and the radio every minute of the day? If we search our hearts, what will we find?

We need to remember that life is lived in community and growth comes through sharing. In Sara’s song “All Right Here”, she sings “Every heart has so much history / It’s my favorite place to start / Sit down a while and share your narrative with me / I’m not afraid of who you are // I’m all here, and you’re all there / Some of this is unique, and some of it we share / Add it up and start from there / Well, it’s all right here”.

So we have a choice to make. Will we admit that we are not perfect and let others share in this beautiful mess of a life that we live? Will we allow ourselves to love, even though we know it could end in hurt? Or will we pretend that life is perfect, that we have it all together and everything is great, that we need no one else?

Sara Groves ~ Every Minute

I am long on staying
I am slow to leave
Especially when it comes to you my friend
You have taught me slow down
And to prop up my feet
It’s the fine art of being who I am

And I can’t figure out
Why you want me around
I’m not the smartest person I have ever met
But somehow that doesn’t matter
No it never really mattered to you at all

And at the risk of wearing out my welcome
At the risk of self-discovery
I’ll take every moment
And every minute that you’ll give me

And I can think of time when families all lived together
Four generations in one house
And the table was full of good food
And friends and neighbors
That’s not how we like it now

Cause if you sit at home you’re a loser
Couldn’t you find anything better to do
Well no I couldn’t think of one thing
I would rather waste my time on than sitting here with you

And at the risk of wearing out my welcome
At the risk of self-discovery
I’ll take every moment
And every minute that you’ll give me

And I wish all the people I love the most
Could gather in one place
And know each other and love each other well

And I wish we could all go camping
And lay beneath the stars
And have nothing to do and stories to tell
We’d sit around the campfire
And we’d make each other laugh remembering when
You’re the first one I’m inviting
Always know that you’re my friend

And at the risk of wearing out my welcome
At the risk of self-discovery
I’ll take every moment
And every minute that you’ll give me
Every moment and every minute that you’ll give me

4 thoughts on “At the risk of self-discovery…”

  1. Well said grasshopper. (Wish she WAS my sister or wife.)

    I’m amazed at how well you articulate your thoughts and your faith here and in person. You have a tremendous talent with words and not just music. Thanks for sharing it here and being honest and provocative when it’s necessary…and never “masturbatory.” (Great word choice.)

    Shaun

  2. Nice thoughts. I love Sara Groves’ music, and her style is definately exposing and open. That is an openness we need much more of in God’s body.

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