"In these bodies we will live,
In these bodies we will die,
Where you invest your love,
you invest your life."
blank. blank. blank.
the cursor blinks at me.
my words stop.
To write a good story, you have to live one, too.
That's my conviction. I can't just sit at home and drink coffee while writing about risk and adventures. I can't let my relationships deteriorate and write to you about friendship, sacrifice, and love. I can't write about God without knowing Him and spending time with Him.
Every single word I write here I am genuinely trying to live-
with passion and freedom and purpose.
As I was thinking about my life a few weeks ago, I realized that I'm not always who I want to be. Sometimes I'm selfish. Sometimes I use my words to injure instead of mend. Sometimes I get so caught up in what I'm doing I forget about other people. All of my "sometimes" could fill a book, if I'm being honest.
I forget that we get one story. Each of us get one and only one.
It's so easy to get distracted and discouraged. It's far simpler to just care about ourselves, or even to not care at all. The path of least resistance is alluring, smooth, and neatly traveled. And that's where I find myself sometimes.
But I remembered a story last week that reminded me of something better.
Have you ever heard of the Greek myth of Jason and the sirens?
Sirens are beautiful, mermaid-like creatures that sing alluring, bewitching songs to try and make sailors drown. The sailors become enchanted by the siren's songs and sail so closely to the coast they shipwreck on jagged rocks and tragically drown.
Odysseus, a Greek hero, was curious what the siren's song sounded like. When sailing past the sirens, he had his crew plug their ears and tie him to the ship. He writhed in agony while hearing the song, but eventually they passed the island and untied him.
Later, a man named Jason had to sail past the siren's island on the way to Crete. Jason, though, didn't want anything to do with them. He knew that they wanted to enchant him to his death. When they passed the island, he refused to listen to the call of the sirens. Instead, he had his friend Orpheus play the harp.
The tale says that Orpheus played so loudly and majestically that no one was tempted by the siren's song. The power of their song was lost in the beauty Orpheus' symphony. That day, everyone was saved because they heard the call of the better music.
We get one story, you and I, and one story alone.
And I want to live mine. Not selfishly. Not out of fear. Not for bigger and better. Not to be impressive. Not for the call of the American dream. Not even for the call of my dreams.
The sirens song is loud and haunting--and we hear it every day. It entices us to do the easy thing instead of what we know is right. It sings to us that that's not our problem. If it doesn't effect us, it must not be that big of a deal. It's okay to do things half-hearted...that's how everyone else does them. Don't over think things. Just go with what feels right. Compromise is natural. Or is it?
The call of better music is beautiful, and yet it propels us to something bigger than ourselves.
The music calls us to live better stories. Any apathy, unforgiveness, selfishness, need for control -fill in the blank- none of these things belong with us. We hear something more sweet than the usual rhythm. We're called to live a life more difficult than our culture dictates, but infinitely more rewarding.
I've been changing things these past few weeks.
I've been talking more. I've been confronting some things that are long overdue. I've stopped worrying so much about what others think. I've been giving more of myself, of my time, and of my heart to other people and it feels so graceful. It feels like the story I'm meant to live.
Dear friend- don't lend your heart to the siren's song...even for a moment.
You're worth so much more than lesser music.
Open your ears, instead.
Can you hear that, right there?
The soft, lilting melody of better music calls us to live a greater story.