Spirits – (The Strumbellas)
Remember when you were told “don’t talk to strangers” as a kid? My parents were always telling me that…but as you get older in life, you don’t have somebody warning you all the time. Truth is in today’s world we barely talk to anybody anymore, whether it is friends, family, or strangers…we type and read our conversations. I am so thankful for technology today because it really has connected us in ways that would be impossible without it…my only hope is that we never lose sight of the value of face to face communication and how to really develop meaningful relationships. Well this is a about a night I talked to a stranger who, in a way, made me talk to him…
I can remember my first best friend when I was little…and he always will be one of my best friends. I still remember his home phone number, I even remember the melody of the sounds it makes when you press all the numbers in a row. I could sing it right now that’s how well I remember it. Back then my mom drove a blue Ford Aerostar van and I remember the day she drove me down the street to meet him. We met as strangers…and we became best friends. I always like to think about how you never really know who is going to become one of your best friends in the beginning when you choose to spend a lot of time with someone…but when you start to spend time with God you instantly know He will be your best friend.
About 5 years ago I felt like I had become a stranger to God…I started to run away from our friendship and I ran fast…but just like a true best friend, He never ran from me…especially on this night. I remember I was out riding around “making my rounds” and making some drop offs and I had to stop at a local gas station to fill up. As I am getting back in my car (at that time I drove this little black Volkswagen two-door hatchback that I bought on e-bay, that’s a whole different story all together), I remember my passenger side door opening and the next thing I know a complete stranger is sitting next to me in my car and right in my face…(My immediate thought was ok I am getting robbed…which would be very possible at that time) But before I could even have another thought the man looks at me and says, “Give me a ride to where I need to go and I promise you I won’t rob you…I won’t hurt you…I just really really need a ride right now.” I didn’t really know what to say next…I remember feeling for my knife on my right pocket and for whatever reason, the one day I don’t carry it this happens. But something in my head…and I promise I have been this way since I was little…something was telling me to just calm down and help this man. Sometimes I wish that voice was never constantly saying things like that to me, but I just had this feeling to go with the situation…so I just looked at him and said, “Ok, let’s go.”
How do you respond when “strangers” all of a sudden appear in your life and test your patience? And “strangers” can be anything from a real person…a situation at work…a relationship…some unexpected debt…etc. Can we love during these times when we feel tested? And if we do decide to show love, is it even worth it?
“I spent a lot of nights on the run, and I think oh, like I’m lost and can’t be found. I’m just waiting for my day to come, and I think oh, I don’t wanna let you down…cause something inside has changed, and maybe we don’t wanna stay the same…I got guns in my head and they won’t go, spirits in my head and they won’t go.”
The Strumbellas are a Juno-award winning, six-piece Canadian band that all formed together from a Craigslist ad for auditions to start a new band. Lead singer and songwriter Simon Ward claims he was afraid to even start a band after losing his father to the lifestyle that can so easily come along with the pressure of a band. Their song “Spirits” from their third studio album titled Hope was just released in April of 2016. When asked about this song and it’s meaning, Ward says, “The guns and spirits are just metaphors for things I was going through, I was in a down place in my life…guns and spirits were just words for those areas in my life…Basically the song is about fighting your inner demons. It’s about trying to change and become a better person in life. I write songs to reflect where I’m at in life, and this song is me saying to the world that I’m doing my absolute best right now to be a good person.”
Isaiah 45:7 | I create the light and also make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things.
God is going to test you…there is no way around it. I recently went home on Mother’s day to spend some real time with my mom. We got to go to church together in the church where I grew up. I remember the pastor preaching that day was preaching on “patience” and it was something I needed to hear at that exact moment. I remember he said, “There is no such thing as failing God’s tests in your life…He’s just gonna let you take them over and over again until you pass.” Two days later I am back in Oxford and a friend of mine at my Tuesday morning men’s group told me, “sometimes we try to live in this “microwave” world and we want things right away, we want things to work out in an instant…but sometimes it’s best to just have patience and wait…because what is cooking in the crock pot will always taste better than what comes from that microwave.”
The night I gave that man a ride I felt like I had “guns” and “spirits” inside my head telling me to help this man and they wouldn’t go away. They never have gone away…I felt it was just like this song. I remember strangely as I drove this man around, his final destination was the neighborhood two blocks from where I lived…I pulled up to drop him off and I asked him “Why did you get in my car and why did you think I would even help you?” He got out and said, “Because nobody else would, nobody trusts nobody…I wasn’t going to rob you, I just took a chance and you gave me a ride. So thank you.” And the stranger shut the passenger side door of my hatchback and I never saw him again… still haven’t seen him to this day. I’m glad I helped him that night though…I was definitely scared but I think God was riding with us in that car…He was the voice in my head saying no matter how bad it gets, I won’t go. I didn’t make any more of my rounds that night…I just went home. So is it worth it to show love to a complete stranger? I say yes. Maybe be careful letting complete strangers in your cars, but these “passengers” are all around us everyday in all forms (friends, family, jobs, relationships, bills, etc.). Sometimes they come and go, sometimes they test us, they test our patience, just remember to show them the one thing they can’t test is = LOVE. Nothing is impossible…
10 Help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
Watch, listen, and share what happens when you decide to live the next 10 days in love.
(Listen below to Spirits by The Strumbellas)
(Make a point today when you are about to send a text message to actually call that person. Watch how different and how much more memorable it will be. Listen to the passengers around you.)
(Feature post photo by Markus Spiske)
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