A blog by Josh Humbert
What will your anthem be?
A phrase first used in a song titled exactly that by a great band called Bleach, way back in the day.
What will your anthem be?
A question of purpose and intent.
A question of introspection and self-examination.
A question that demands an answer……..from everyone.
****But first—-2 notes from me…
1) This is a shoot-from-the-hip writing, meaning I wrote it and posted it without much editing at all. Please forgive typo’s and whatnot. Back off, Johnny Grammar!!
2) For anyone who is planning on attending Master’s Camp at Alto Frio this summer, this is, I guess for lack of a better term, a “Spoiler alert.” Much of this writing will be used in one of the sessions I will be speaking this year. I feel God has put this on my heart to share now, in written form, but also this summer to you guys at Camp. So, you can wait and hear it fresh in July…..or, you can read it now and pray and meditate over it till then. I’ll leave it up to you. Just don’t say I didn’t warn ya. ****
So, let’s begin….at the beginning…….of 2008. As I was researching some topics for some speaking events this summer, I came across this website for writers, authors, poets, etc. The website (called Smith Online Magazine, I believe) laid out a challenge to their readers. The challenge was this: Sum up your life in 6 words exactly. 6 words, no more, no less. Sum it all up in exactly 6 words.
The responses from people were so varied and honest that I found myself reading page after page after page of people’s “6 word life summaries.”
So here………….take a read……find out how some people summed up life in exactly 6 words. These are actual responses:
This was not supposed to be.
I die with the most toys.
Where is that “edit-undo” key?
Did what was expected of me.
Depression is the Dragon consuming me.
World sees “cripple,” not the heart.
There is no summing this up.
So far, all compromise, no happiness.
Woke today. Not promised another. REJOICE!
Knocked down. Got up. Kept going.
Depression can be conquered. Love life.
Nearly dead. Everything left to do.
Leave your past behind. Renew now!
Why do I keep backing down?
All that talent down the drain.
No matter what, I am loved.
Afraid of death, I didn’t live.
We can do better than this.
Now take a minute to digest those. Can you believe how some people view their lives? Can you relate to any of those responses? Was their anything inside you that said, “Yeah, that’s me,” to one of those summaries? Did their words echo the truth in your heart?
Personally, I was challenged by such a simple task. I put the question to myself. How would I sum up my life? I took the concept even further…how would I WANT others to be able to sum up my life years from now?
What would my 6 word summary be?
What would I want my 6 word summary to be years from now?
What would MY anthem be?
What WILL my anthem be?
I will dive into my own personal responses to these at Master’s Camp, but I want to finish this writing out with some things I won’t get to cover there: a movie scene and some observations and questions.
There was this Western movie set in the 1800’s that came out in 2003 called Open Range. It was the story of these a group of closely-knit cowboys who find big trouble in a small town. Basically, the sheriff and local authorities are corrupt and soon inflict damage and tragedy on the group of cowboys, leading them to seek revenge and justice.
So, as two of the good cowboys head into town, they are seeking to round up some help; some good men to help battle against the evil. One of the cowboys, named Charley, has a conversation with a barkeeper named Mack. Here’s the dialogue:
Mack: Shame what this town’s come to.
Charley: You could do something about it.
Mack: What? We’re freighters. Ralph here’s a shopkeeper.
Charley: You’re men….ain’t you?
Mack: I didn’t raise my boys just to see ’em killed.
Charley: Well, you may not know this, but there’s things that gnaw at a man worse than dying.
Whoa! Don’t you love that last line?! “There’s things that gnaw at a man worse than dying.” YES!! Yes, there are things that concern me more than how I will greet death; things such as Glorifying God with the breath that I have. See, there is a thing that concerns me more than death…and that thing is LIFE! What kind of LIFE am I living right now? What am I doing with the breaths that I have remaining?
This determines what my anthem will be.
Mack and his guys were so consumed by fear, so concerned with their own lives, that they were missing out on LIFE.
That is NOT the call of the Gospel.
Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that they may have LIFE, and that they may have life more abundantly.”
So the offer is LIFE. Yes, this is good and very central. For our life to mean something, we MUST find LIFE. But where is it found? In seeking our “best life now”? In seeking “stuff for us? In hoarding and protecting our “things?”
No, no, and no. A million times NO. Having “stuff” won’t cut it for us. You won’t find life there. The enemy will steal, kill, and destroy you with concern over things that don’t matter in eternity. Getting a cool sports car would be very nice, but it won’t make my heart come alive. The logo on my t-shirt can’t offer me life. My anthem better not be some bank statement with lots of 0’s. Those are possessions…..not LIFE.
In Matthew 10:38-39, Jesus lays out the plan for real LIFE. “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, AND HE WHO HAS LOST HIS LIFE FOR MY SAKE WILL FIND IT.”
I had to capitalize that last phrase so you don’t miss it. Actually, I had to capitalize it so I don’t miss it. The way to find life here is to let go of what we think is “ours” and instead seek HIS. Seek to glorify Jesus and all that He, the Father, and the Holy Spirit have done for us. Seek to Glorify God. When we take up our cross and follow Him (which denotes a sacrifice on our part), then….THEN we find Life. That is the plan for finding life.
Do you feel the tension here? Do you feel the pull of the world here? Do you think you can do both? Will your anthem speak of you…or God?
For me, I feel the tension….EVERYDAY. It is a daily battle. The battle is to find life….by losing mine and yet, finding it in pursuit of pointing a finger to Christ. That is where I am Alive.
Is there something that gnaws at you more than death? Could that “something” be how you are living your life now? Is the deepest part of your heart aching after true LIFE? Not just momentary happiness in possessions, relationships, feelings, emotions, and the pleasures of life here….but is your heart aching to come Alive? Are you feeling the tension?
What would your 6 word summary of life be right now, at this exact point in your life? If you were totally honest and you didn’t edit your response to “sound better”….what would the 6 words be?
Better yet…..what WILL your anthem be? If you believed Jesus’ offer of Life and how it is found….what would change in you? How different would your anthem be from what it might be now?
These are the questions I ask myself and that is why I bring them to you here.
What will your anthem be?
As always, thank you for taking time out of your day and reading this. I mean that. Thank you for reading. I asked a lot of questions here. I would be honored and humbled to hear your responses, if you are willing to be that honest on such a public forum. I understand if you don’t feel that freedom….it is Myspace after all.
Anyways…….react. React in the comments, in a message to me, react in your own heart, react to God.