Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Empty Me: Specified

It's been a while since I have listened to the local christian radio station, but the other day, everyone else was on commercials or music I wasn't in the mood for, so I flipped to that station where I heard Chris Sligh's "Empty me" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0e0WEkxj58.  I've actually always liked that song, but this time I had sort of a funny thought...

In Christian music there are tons of songs with the theme of 'empty me of me so that I can be filled with you(God)'.  While this is not a biblical untruth, I can't help but wonder if it's focus has become distorted.  When I look around at all of the individuals God has made, I am in wonder at the uniqueness of us all!  Each one of us with our unique strengths and weaknesses and quirks and ways that we are bent that drive away and pull closer the people around us...it truly is amazing!  So why would God want us to focus on ridding ourselves of ourselves, when He made us each so uniquely and wonderfully?  

I think I liked Chris Sligh's version so much because he specifies the parts of himself that he would like to be rid of, such as selfishness, vain ambition, and the poison of my pride; which if I read into it means, not all of his ambition and pride, just the poisonous parts, kind of like the difference between good and bad cholesterol.  He then adds "and any foolish thing my heart runs holds to" and then he sings "Lord empty me of me so I can be filled with you". 

So in hearing that song and because of some of the things I am working through, it dawned on me that this prayer of 'empty me' may have the wrong focus or even a lack of focus...or just misguided focus.  Have you ever prayed feverishly that God would remove (for example) your ambitious nature only to find yourself ever more ambitious?  Or have you asked Him to help you to stop being so outspoken only to find yourself blurting out things even more than usual?  This is when we need to ask God if we are praying the wrong prayer.  Perhaps it is a test of your will, but what if He's trying to tell you something else? 

God made each of us individually, uniquely and specially as well as with a purpose in mind.  Part of who we are is determined by things that God knew far in advance would come our way and affect the way we deal with life and all that goes with it.  He also made us with certain qualities, talents and characteristics that are useful for your life's calling.  We might consider them to be bad qualities, but perhaps when you look at them from a God's eye view, you can see how those things are valuable. 

Some of the things that you perceive to be bad things, God has placed in you for a reason and they need to be held in place... but perhaps refined, honed and re-focused.  Leaders, for example can be head strong, ambitious, stubborn, and outspoken.  All of those qualities can be negative and are too often discouraged, but given the right focus and aim, those qualities can be quite useful in leadership. 

Relationships are able to succeed and withstand severe storms when two opposite extremes cooperate with each other and work to see the benefits of both sides.  For example, the marriage of a very frugal spender to a very lavish spender.  One is overly responsible and saves every penny while the other is overly generous to themselves and others even overspending and going into the red.  If the two can meet in the middle and see both the benefits of having savings in the bank while being able to bless others without going overboard, you will find a very successful couple (at least financially...).

My point in all this is that maybe we should stop asking God to empty ourselves of ourselves and instead ask that He hone and sharpen the characteristics, qualities, skills and talents that He himself gave us so that they may be perfected for His good use.  Ask Him specifically to empty us of the poison of our pride, the selfishness inside, and whatever has become tainted and bitter.  We need to stop concentrating on the negative aspects of our personalities and focus instead on the areas He wants us to work on, not the things we think we ought to work on.  Stop allowing guilt to creep in with regards to these things that make up who you are.  Allow change, don't force it, be pliable and teachable instead of hard and deaf.

As always readers, I preach to myself here as well.  I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter as well!   


Saturday, April 24, 2010

In the wild

In the Wild
By: Adrielle R. Bollin

My body drags
As my soul despairs
Irritation rises
Confrontation flares

I just want to slumber
Hibernate in the deep
Be alone with my thoughts
And with the good Lord weep

The people around me
I thought I could trust
Have slayed my defenses
Made my machinery rust

The person I knew
Who I thought to be me
Is being dismantled
No longer feels free

The vast expanse
Dragged boundaries away
What once felt sure
Has faded to gray

Confusion surrounds me
As I ponder the whys
Dismay lies heavy
Was I not once wise?

I was like the sun
Bright, joyful and warm
She is not like me
Her countenance torn

Who will she become
When this project is complete
Will she be faithful and good
Or will she be chained in defeat?

Some parts return
To the way I once was
While some parts exchange
But they look more like flaws

I don't know what to think
Is this part of your plan
Or have I departed
And joined the blind man?

How long will this last
Only you oh God know
I will do my best
In this wilderness to grow

Keep me close by 
Do not leave me I pray
Whisper your thoughts to me
Do not let me far stray

Thursday, April 1, 2010


By: Adrielle R. Bollin

A great blue sparkling wave
Washes o'er my shore
Soothing dried up sands
Soaking to my core

My soul was dry as dust
All life stood deathly still
My world a quiet desert
The wind my only thrill

I swept the land in travel
I wandered to and fro
Until I finally saw you
The bluest of all gold

I quickly went to meet you
To dance in your embrace
We swayed back and forth
And smiled face to face

Dreamily you held me
While we sailed into the deep
And finally I drifted
Off to restful sleep

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