Carry On

From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. Acts 17:26-27 (NRSV)

A few weeks ago Wendy and I were driving through Des Moines and she was handling the DJ duties on the radio. Carry on My Wayward Son by Kansas came on and we rocked out to it together. A flood of memories came rushing back to me. As a boy, Kansas was my favorite rock group and I wore out the needle on my cheap record player with their albums and 45s.

One of the things that I remember loving about Kansas was the meaning I found in their lyrics. Kansas was the first group that I remember truly paying attention to the lyrics and in Kerry Livgren’s spiritual groping I found a kindred spirit.

Masquerading as a man with a reason
My charade is the event of the season
And if I claim to be a wise man,
Well, it surely means that I don’t know

On a stormy sea of moving emotion
Tossed about, I’m like a ship on the ocean
I set a course for winds of fortune,
But I hear the voices say

Carry on my wayward son
There’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry no more no!

As I read Paul’s message to the people of Athens, my memory was suddenly stirred to my days of spiritual groping, setting my soul’s course to seek after God in song lyrics and wherever else I might find a hint of God’s presence. As Paul testified, I eventually found that God was not as far from me as I thought. It was a cold February night in 1981 that I opened my heart and began my relationship with Jesus. I stopped groping for Him and started growing in Him. I’ve been carrying on ever since. At times I merely stumble along, but I keep pressing forward none the less.

If you’re groping, carry on. He is not as far as you think.

2 thoughts on “Carry On”

  1. Loved your writing my friend, an amazingly literal ‘guiding light’ to show people the potential of word and music to expose the existence of God through and in its expression. When it’s done like that, as Kansas did it, it’s spiritually undeniable how real and true the existence of God is. You simply couldn’t articulate that level of human expression unless you had a profoundly intuitive sense and naturally felt connection to the, Source of Life, God, Its Self!

    God IS, that Source of life inside us and through words and music and many other things, we’re able to feel for and verify, if only we could believe it, the natural truth of ITS reality. Jesus told us all along that God was inside us and that all we had to do was naturally feel for that truth and we’d know it. A ‘spiritual groping’ it was but Kerry Livgren profoundly felt it, that’s clearly obvious.

    I still often grope for the truth of it all my self although I’ve found that I only do that when I’m trying to look for it ‘outside’ of my self. I eventually decided to take the advice of Jesus and feel for the natural truth of God in my self and the truth now, is that I do considerably less groping because of it.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective, I truly enjoyed reading and learning from it.

    Jaii

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