Back In The World Again – (David Gray)
The Walking Dead, originally based on a comic book series, has become one of the most popular American horror drama television series from the AMC network. Developed by Frank Darabont, the series is based upon its lead character Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), a sheriff’s deputy who awakens from a months-long coma in an abandoned hospital to face a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. Now in its sixth season, Grimes and his group continue to band together to fight off the walking dead, but they must also be aware of the living, as they encounter many people who pose an even greater threat to their survival.
I can remember growing up my dad always wanted my brother and I to be involved in Boy Scouts so that we could one day become Eagle Scouts. The official motto for Boy Scouts of America is “Be Prepared.” Becoming an Eagle Scout didn’t just teach me to survive in the wilderness or help an elderly person cross the street…it helped me learn how to be prepared for anything in life and how to work together to help others along the way. This is a story about when I thought my friends and I were truly prepared for everything but we found ourselves desperately in need of anything to help us survive…
Back when I was in college, a group of my friends and I had decided we should all go on a hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail. The “AT”, as most hikers call it, is a trail over 2,000 miles long extending from Georgia all the way up to Maine. Well we had a good group of guys getting ready for a short-run hike over several days and we were all excited. We had a plan, supplies, food, gear, and an excellent written trail guide to get us to our destination. Not all of us were in “trail shape” at the time but we thought we were ready as a group. We thought we were prepared. Now this was before GPS was even available on a phone so we had to use our guide book that detailed specific spots of exactly where we could find natural water sources and springs for drinking water.
There was one day in our hike we had checked our water supply and according to our “book” we would find our next water source about 4 miles north, so we drank accordingly when we needed it. In fact we drank all of our water…because it was a tough, exhausting section of the trail. But when we finally arrived at the water source, our water was nowhere to be found…we were all searching around the area hoping we could find it but there was nothing… The next place in the book was a good 5 or 6 miles from where we were. Panic started to creep in our group…Not one of us wanted to talk at the moment but you could see a little fear start to show up on our exhausted faces. Words of blame quickly start to fly around…even a fight breaks out between two brothers on the trip…but we had to break it up after realizing a physical fight was just going to bring more exhaustion to the group. We were all worried and full of doubt at this point… But that’s what happens in life when fear gets a hold of you, you feel alone, you get scared, and you react without thinking… We were all scared because even if we had hiked the next 6 miles, how did we know there would in fact be water there? Daylight was not going to last forever and fighting was not going to magically refill our Nalgene water bottles. We just had to start hiking…we had to keep going…and I will never forget what happened next…
Just at the point where we were all “turning into zombies” and truly becoming “the walking dead” …out of nowhere off in the distance we spot a remote power line through the trees… and I can still remember the hope that came over us…We thought maybe if we just followed the power line then it could lead us to water and we would be saved. We didn’t want to split up so we all decided to hike off the trail into the unknown…and eventually we came across this old house in the middle of nowhere…and there was an abandoned church next to it… it reminded me of a scene straight out of the walking dead…but here we didn’t have to fight off the dead…by a miracle we had been given life…and it all came from a faucet on the side of an old, locked-up, abandoned church in the middle of the Appalachian mountains…
Do feel like you have just been stuck in this same routine in your life to the point where you feel like you are lost in another world just walking around like a zombie? Like you know what you need to give you that feeling of life again but you keep doing the same things over and over and you never really go looking for it? And what happens when we think we have prepared so well for something and suddenly everything goes wrong and causes chaos? We feel like we need a guide with us every day right? Whether its a job presentation, a family trip, financial planning, moving to a new city, planning a wedding, or maybe just trying to plan a normal day for yourself with a list of things you need to get done, etc…Sometimes our plans get sidelined a little but how do we choose to react in these situations? Do we let our fears set in? How can we bring back the joy in our heart? Do you want to stop becoming the walking dead? Well then how can we really become the living if we are dead?
“Like the lift of a curse, got a whole different person inside my head. No more trudging around, stony eyed through the town like the living dead. If it’s love that put the joy in my heart is it God by another name? Who’s to say how it goes, all I know is I’m back in the world again…back in the world again.“
British singer-songwriter David Gray was coming off a four year hiatus in 2014, releasing an album titled Mutineers. When asked about his hiatus, his new album and the lead single Back In The World Again, Gray says, “I was at the end of myself… I realized I had to die and be reborn…I just felt like I was at the end of something. I knew all the things I didn’t want, I just didn’t know what I wanted. I was thirsty for something new. I was bored with myself, bored with my thoughts, even.” Gray talks even further about his album saying, “It was a giant leap of faith! I wanted to do something different, give form to some new feeling. I wanted some uplift; I wanted to say “Hallelujah” really, in a way. I didn’t want to just vaguely complain about my life… I was looking for something else…”
Psalm 119:35 | Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.
I can remember my mom telling me something on the phone about a month ago. Every time we talk she always gives me some advice at the end of our conversation and this time right before she hung up she said, “Adrian, just let God be your guide and He will provide.” Well she’s absolutely right…I lived my life as the walking dead from 2006 – 2012 (I reference this time period a lot in my writing because it was the most unhappy time in my life…I was the walking dead and I wanted so badly to be alive again…to change from the person I had become). Back then I used to argue with her all the time about the things she would tell me because I knew she was always right…and this time around I feel like David Gray feels in his song. I feel like I’m back in the world again…I was always looking for something…I knew I needed my faith restored…Rick Grimes and his group often have to fight the walking dead to survive but constantly encounter real people who also threaten their livelihood. I was the same way. I was trying to fight off a dangerous drug habit, and I was trying to survive on my own, and the people who I thought were my friends, well some of them turned out to be more dangerous then the drugs themselves…
David Gray says he was “looking for something else…” Rick Grimes and the rest of the cast of characters in The Walking Dead are constantly “looking for something else…” My friends and I, alone in the Appalachian mountain range, were desperately “looking for something else…” The truth is we all experience these feelings of needing a new hope sometimes…and if we are not careful we can become the walking dead. We can become dead spiritually too. Even certain people in our lives can lead us away from our true purpose… People often tend to think Christians are supposed to lead perfect lives…but even Christians can become “zombies”…it’s very true…and I know this is true because it was me…but here is the difference – in Christ we are all loved no matter who we are, no matter what we have done, and no matter how dead we feel we are given an everlasting life and we are forgiven…
We need to be prepared for life…we need God to be our guide and let Him provide… I think God had something to do with that power line for us out there that day in the mountains…I really do…He was leading us…That may be hard to believe but if you had just been there with us it would be very hard to say that it wasn’t a true miracle. We cannot be afraid of what lies ahead and we cannot be discouraged…He put the joy in our hearts to bring us to life…He has already gone before us and will never leave us. If we just put all of our trust, our faith, and our love in Him then we will no longer have to be the walking dead…but we can be back in the world again and we can become the living…and we can be prepared to walk together in a new way, with a new happiness, and a new = LOVE. Nothing is impossible…
8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Watch, listen, and share what happens when you decide to live the next 10 days in love.
(Listen below to Back In The World Again by David Gray)
(Feature post photo by Justin Luebke)
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