Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dancing Nancies

I spent part of the summer after my sophomore year of high school driving around upstate New York with two dear friends and my mom. The scenery was gorgeous, the goal a choice in college and the musical backdrop an album called Under the Table and Dreaming by the Dave Matthews Band. I think my mom would probably cringe if she had to hear one song from that album ever again, but I've recently rediscovered it and, typically, I hear a lot more in it than I heard as a naive 16 year-old whose only care in the world was hoping to find the perfect school that had enough trees to keep me happy.

One song that I've been listening to in particular is called 'Dancing Nancies'.

"I am who I am who I am who am I
Requesting some enlightenment
Could I have been anyone other than me?"

I think Dave was asking a really critical question and one I've subconsciously been wrestling with for a long time. Who am I, really? Am I moving along a path that will let God make me into who I was made to be? Do I believe I really could be anyone other than who that is? Would I want to be?

Starting in a new place presents a lot of opportunities. I didn't really want to move, to change jobs, to stay home with my son, but I'm seeing the timeliness and the necessity of this fresh start. There are ways in which for the past few years I have not been brave enough to be who I am. I have let myself feel bound by who and what is around me, by cultural norms that aren't mine. Worse, I've listened to the voice of man far more often than the voice of God and that voice has pulled me away from that path of being beautifully and uniquely me. This wrong posture has created pride, fear and an unhealthy desire to please others instead of God.

So, as I continue through my Ardennes I am looking to find me again. To unashamedly seek to know my God and, thereby, to know myself more fully. This is a scary endeavor because I believe it is risky to seek God. Not risky because I cannot trust Him, but because I know that He will change me and I have to be willing to see that change is, indeed, desperately needed.

Thomas Merton says that "it takes heroic humility to be yourself." He also says that "I who am without love cannot love unless Love identifies me with Himself. But if he sends His own Love, Himself, to act and love in me and in all that I do, then I shall be transformed, I shall discover who I am and shall possess my true identity by losing myself in Him." I don't know if Dave Matthews would've agreed with Merton's answer to his question but I think they could've had some great conversation.

No comments:

Post a Comment