david herndon

the morning’s coming soon
March 12, 2008, 11:54 am
Filed under: life | Tags: , , , ,

I’m a night owl, there is no doubt about it.  My mind just seems to wake up after about 11 PM.  I feel more creative, I feel more productive, everything is quiet, no chance of interupption, and I feel like I have all the time in the world.  I once stayed up all night just to paint my kitchen.  I often stay up late to write this blog (that might be why some of them don’t make much sense).  The truth is, my late nights are not near as productive or creative as they feel.  I’m much better on 8 hours of sleep at 9 AM.  I start off at night focused and have good intentions, but I get pulled in so many different directions – I feel like I have all the time in the world, so I try to do it all.  But inevitably during my late night sessions, a time comes when I look at the clock and realize how little time I have left myself for sleep.  I realize that I have more things to do tomorrow that will be done much better if I get some rest.  I realize that there are so many more important things I could have been putting my time and energy towards, but instead I have squandered it on the night – and now nothing is done.  Everything is undone.  This is my “Oh no!” moment – when all the good feelings of late night disappear, when I realize that like it or not, the morning is coming soon.  I spent the night following my feelings with no accountability.  I didn’t think or listen to reason or common sense.  Now all of the different feelings change into one feeling – the I-Don’t-Feel-Like-It feeling.

 I drink coffee in the morning because I don’t feel like waking up and being productive.  Sometimes, in order to fight the urge to stay up late I will take a Tylenol PM because I don’t feel like going to sleep.  I have weeds in my flower beds because I don’t feel like pulling them out.  My “check engine” light has been on for months, but I don’t feel like taking my car in.  There are people I need to forgive me, but I don’t feel like asking for forgiveness.  There are people I need to forgive, but I don’t feel like talking to them.  There are friends I have not seen or spoken to in years, because I can never find a convenient time when I feel like making a phone call or writing a letter.  I passed a guy on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere who had a flat tire.  I’m not sure if he even had a spare.  I didn’t feel like stopping to find out.

The I-Don’t-Feel-Like-It factor rules so much of our lives, and inevitably we find ourselves in this state much like staying up late.  We think we’ll get around to “it.”  We think eventually we will feel like it.  We think we have more time than we really do.  And so we leave so many important things undone… and unsaid.

On the night before Jesus was crucified he went into a garden to spend some time in prayer.  He knew he had something pretty important to do the next day and it was going to be a challenge – so he sought guidance.  This was his prayer: “Father, if you are willing, let this cup pass from me.”  Translation: “I don’t feel like it.”  Jesus is saying that he does not feel like sacrificing himself, that he does not feel like receiving the punishment of others, that he does not feel like being nailed to a cross like some kind of criminal.  Jesus does not feel like saving the world.  But that is not the end of the prayer.  he goes on: “yet, not my will, but your’s be done.”  Translation: “I don’t feel like it, but I’ll do it anyway.”

What if Jesus followed his feelings?  What if Jesus gave in to the I-Don’t-Feel-Like-It Factor?  What if because Jesus did not feel like dying, he didn’t?  What would that mean for all of us?  For all of history?  For all of eternity?

What if you give in to the I-Don’t-Feel-Like-It factor?  What would that mean for all of us?  For all of history?  For all of eternity?

Jesus knew one simple truth: the morning is coming soon.  Time is going to run out.  You cannot wait to do what is needed until you feel like it.  Most of the time, the things we feel least like doing are perhaps the most important thing we could do.  Maybe now is a good time to do it.

 If you need a little inspiration to put this message into action, I wrote a song on this theme called “Morning’s Coming Soon.”  You can listen to it and download it HERE.

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what would i do were they free?
February 27, 2008, 12:21 am
Filed under: life | Tags: , , , ,

On Tuesday (February 26) my good friend, Micah Dalton, released a new CD titled Pawnshop.  I am absolutely blown away by how good this album is – musically, lyrically, emotionally, spiritually.  Its like Paul Simon and Bob Dylan got together with Marvin Gaye and made a CD… only better.  You should definitely buy a copy of this album.  Go ahead and do it now, I’ll wait…

The last song on the album is currently my favorite.  Its called “What Would I Do Were They Free?”  It tells the story of someone finding himself in the middle of a decision- one foot still enslaved, the other foot feeling freedom for the first time.  And this is what he says, “My hands are untied, so please pass me the rope.  What would I do were they free?”

This is my song.  This is our song.  How many times have I felt trapped, enslaved, tied up.  When you’re being held hostage it gives you a good excuse for not doing something.  We all have something we need to be doing or maybe something we need to stop doing.  And just the same, we all have a great excuse for why we are not doing it – we’re tied up, occupied, stuck. 

 The truth is, we like being “tied up.”  We like being slaves – its easier.  After about 20 minutes wandering around the desert, even the Israelites told Moses that they would rather go back to Egypt and be Pharaoh’s slaves than keep living in God’s freedom.  When we’re tied up, it takes the responsibility off of us – the responsibility to think, the responsibility to care, the responsibility to do anything.  If we can take the responsibility off of us, then we can take the blame off of us.  It gives us license to not do what is right without having to bear the consequence or the guilt.  Being tied up is much more comfortable than doing what is right.

The thing about doing the right thing – its never convenient.  Often that is what makes it the right thing – because it requires sacrifice.  It requires a bold expression of confidence and honesty.  It is uncomfortable and unnerving.  It always costs something.  Being free means that we have no limitations, and therefore there is no reason why we cannot do something different.  So we wrap the limitations around our wrists, cord after cord, until we cannot move at all.

I can’t give any more money to charity because I have to pay my mortgage payment and car payment.  I can’t stop and help change that flat tire because it would make me late for my meeting.  I can’t spend any more time with my family because they need me at work.

Could you live in a smaller house?  Could you drive a less expensive car?  Is 5 or 10 minutes really that big of deal when you think about eternity?  Are you sure the business will fail completely if you miss one day?  If so, is that a job worth having?

Often we would rather be comfortably trapped than to have to deal with the responsibility of freedom.

Do you think this had anything to do with Jesus saying, “the truth will set you free?”  When we keep ourselves tied up by our excuses, are we really living a lie and denying our God-given purpose?  Is Jesus saying that in order to truly live the life He calls us to, be the people He created us to be; we have to untie ourselves from our petty excuses and start doing and being what we know is right in our hearts?

I’ll say it again: doing the right thing is never convenient.  It might mean giving up a relationship.  It might mean giving up a job.  It might mean giving up control of your life.  There is nothing free about freedom.

Do you feel trapped?  What’s got you tied up?  What has you bound and enslaved?

What would you do if you were free? 

What would be different?

Why not try untying yourself?

 Special thanks to Micah and his album, Pawnshop, for the wonderfully inspiring message.

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