Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Balaam's Ass -SQOTW

yeah i've always wandered by this riverside
i've always wondered what it's like to be more than alive
yeah the boss man says, "i'd advise you resist."
i just nod my head and look off in the distance, nod my head and look off in the distance

these days i never go out looking much
or feeling my best
i'm sorry! i'm sorry! i'm sorry! this stuff
it clings to my flesh

one is men's hearts that are failing for fear.
two see the carnage strewn on the shore.
three are the life boats full to capacity?
four is there room for just one more?
five you will feel like the great wallenda,
six as he stepped out over tallulah gorge.
seven i will bind myself to the truth
and speak it like balaam's ass once more.

-- Balaam's Ass, Vigilantes of Love, from the CD Blister Soul

Not much to say about these lyrics except how much imagery I get from them. The first verse speaks reflectively on what it means to really be alive. Then, the short bridge comments on the depression of loathing that part of yourself - the sin and love of self - that you cannot seem to get rid of. Lastly, there's the pounding chorus numbered off. The singer sees the state of mankind, asks if he can jump in with all those trying to save themselves, but finally decides to step out in faith and bind himself to the Lord.

I've been to Tallulah Falls and the Tallulah Gorge several times. I've attached a pic of the place where the Great Wallenda (of the Great Wallendas) crossed over on a tight rope. It's spectacular in its beauty, but as I'm one that's deathly afraid of heights, when you get too close to the edge of the cliff walls, fear seems to block out the grandeur. All I can think of is, "I don't want to fall." Unfortunately, that can be reminiscient of life too often. Instead of taking a step forward in faith, a la Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade movie, I'm running with others searching for my place on the life boat.

One major truism I've found in my walk with God is that He doesn't let me spend an inordinate amount of time in my comfort zone. Let me be clear: I'm a person that LOVES my comfort zone. If I could, I'd probably ball up in a fetal position and spend all my time there. However, it's hard to love others there, and it's certainly easy to love myself. I'm an easy target for certain, shall I say, luxuries of life, and, like Balaam, though my tongue might speak the right words, my actions betray me. Sooner of later, I'm kicking my ass - figuratively speaking - when the Holy Spirit starts goading me and I don't want to go. However, whenever anything profitable has come from my life at all, it's usually because, like Wallenda, I've stepped out from where I feel safe, and I've gone where God wants me to go -- or at least where I've thought He's wanted me to go.

Writing with Ken has been one of those things. There's not a long list because, like I said, I love my comfort zone. Best thing for me, however, is bind myself to the Truth, and speak like Balaam's ass.

Sidenote: For those of you guys who think I picked this song just so I could use the word "ass" a few times in a post, you win a prize - cuz it was cool :). Is that what you thought I was gonna say?

3 comments:

DugALug said...

Rich,

All I gotta say is that if God can use a donkey he can probably use me too.

-Doug

codepoke said...

Lifeboats or the truth.

Hard choice!

I think this song probably works a lot better with the music, though.

Rich said...

I think this song probably works a lot better with the music, though.

I agree. Still, I'd been listening to it a lot lately and thought maybe there was a reason. I went with it.