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Why the blazes...

If you haven't heard the song that inspired the title of this blog, then you're missing out. We all know Steven Curtis Chapman rocks. Come on, you know he does. I remember listening to this song on a cassette tape (for the younger folks reading this post, Google it.) in our car while driving to vacations and over the hill and through the woods to Grandma's house.

I've always loved this song - something about it grabbed my heart and took off down the road with it when I was probably too young to really understand what all the song was really saying. As I got older and hopefully wiser, it continued to pull at my heartstrings... and in the past year or so as my life path has led me through many changes I didn't anticipate, the lyrics hit home even more. You've gotta add this to your iTunes list!

In the spring of 1519 a Spanish fleet set sail
Cortez told his sailors, “This mission must not fail!”
On the eastern shore of Mexico they landed with great dreams
But the hardships of the new world made them restless and weak
Quietly they whispered, "Let's sail back to the life we knew!"
But the one who led them there was saying:

Burn the ships, we're here to stay
There's no way we could go back
Now that we've come this far by faith
Burn the ships; we've passed the point of no return
Our life is here, so let the ships burn

In the spring of new beginnings a searching heart set sail
Looking for a new life and a love that would not fail
On the shores of grace and mercy we landed with great joy
But an enemy was waiting to steal, kill, and destroy
Quietly he whispers, "Go back to the life you knew!"
But the One who led us here is saying:

Burn the ships, we're here to stay
There's no way we could go back
Now that we've come this far by faith
Burn the ships; we've passed the point of no return
Our life is here, so let the ships burn

Nobody said it would be easy
But the One who brought us here
Is never gonna leave us alone

A few years ago (or five), my good friend and former co-worker, Anne, gave me this little picture from her Mary Engelbreit calendar. It showed a girl carrying a pack on her back and gleefully skipping down the path she had chosen. She had met a fork in the road with a sign that heralded the options: "Your Life" this way and "No Longer an Option" that way. Across the top boldly stated: "Don't Look Back". Anne had placed the picture on my desk while I was in the midst of a break in a relationship that I had every indication was going places. The subsequent shattering of those promises and trust left me just a smidge deeper than devastated. But I knew the brightly colored message was right. I really only had one choice - and that was to go forward in life, in faith. The past was simply that: the past. And it was no longer a viable option for me.

Time to let go and let God.

Maybe that's why I love this song so much. It is passionate and makes me think of standing on the dusty beaches where God has brought my ship. Sand eats its way up my ankles and I glance behind me at my feeble little boat swaying in the waves. The land I left to get here, now gone. And it seems that just as my heart is ready to throw me back into the boat and somehow get back to where I was - my Captain steps forward and hands me a can of gasoline and some matches. It gives me chills. Let the ship burn. Let it all burn.

I have two choices... but I really only have one.

"The end of a matter is better than its beginning,
and patience is better than pride.

Do not say, "Why were the old days better than these?"
For it is not wise to ask such questions.

Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing
and benefits those who see the sun.

Consider what God has done:
Who can straighten what he has made crooked?

When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider:
God has made the one as well as the other.
Therefore, a man cannot discover
anything about his future."

~ Ecclesiastes 7:8,10,11,13-14


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