Thursday, May 14, 2009

Clarity, is only a song by John Mayer

One of the things I’ve found myself looking for in life is clarity. I don’t think I’m alone. Brennan Manning in his book Ruthless Trust tells a interesting story of the brilliant ethicist John Kavanaugh who went to work for three months at “the house of dying” in Calcutta. He went there seeking a clear answer as to how best to spend the rest of his life. On the first morning there he met Mother Teresa. She asked, “And what can I do for you?” Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him.

“What do you want me to pray for?” she asked. He voiced the request that he had brought thousands of miles from the United States: “pray that I have clarity.”

She said firmly, “No, I will not do that.” when he asked her why, she said, “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.” When Kavanaugh commented that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed for, she laughed and said, “I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God

The truth is I have often prayed for clarity and I have often prayed for clarity for others, yet I agree with Brennan when he says “that clarity is sometimes the biggest obstacle on our journey of trust.” I mean if you have clarity you really don’t need trust and if you have trust you really don’t need clarity. Jesus disciples were obviously concerned with a lack of clarity when Jesus told them he was going away. Consequently they became anxious and worried. Jesus told them not be anxious but rather to trust, John 14:1. A lot of things make us anxious, but the bottom line is to replace our pursuit for clarity with trust, trust in God and trust in Jesus Christ.

1"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God[a]; trust also in me.

Clarity by John Mayer (Click the title to hear the song)

I worry, I weigh three times my body
I worry, I throw my fear around
But this morning, there's a calm I can't explain
The rock candy's melted, only diamonds now remain

Ooh ooh ooh ooh

By the time I recognize this moment
This moment will be gone
But I will bend the light, pretend that it somehow lingered on
Well all I got's

Ooh ooh ooh ooh

And I will wait to find
If this will last forever
And I will wait to find
If this will last forever
And I will pay no mind
That it won't and it won't because it can't
Because it just can't
It just can't
It's not supposed to

Was there a second of time that I looked around?
Did I sail through or drop my anchor down
Was anything enough to kiss the ground?
And say I'm here now and she's here now

Ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh

So much wasted in the afternoon
So much sacred in the month of June
How bout you

And I will wait to find
If this will last forever
And I will pay no mind
When it won't and it won't
Because it won't
And I will waste no time
Worried 'bout no rainy weather
And I will waste no time
Remaining in our lives together

2 comments: said...

Denny - Love this post. So true that clarity is the last thing we must let go of to trust. Maybe that is what has happened to me the past 10 days. Giving up the control for clarity and whatever is "next" has given me a peace I have not had in a long, long time. I'm impressed that you used some John Mayer too. Perfect song for this post.

The reference to the disciples was a great one. Can you imagine their thoughts? Here is a group that literally left everything they had on a 3 year journey with no idea how it would end up. I love the quote from the movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" that said:

"Life is understood backwards but must be lived forward"

Maybe the clarity we seek is found backwards and we must trust and live forward.

One final quote (you know I love music) comes from Kenny Chesney:

"Clarity and inspiration
Happiness is a destination that's hard to find.
Gonna take some time
But in my mind there's something more
And I'll open up a brand new door
And find the strength to close the one I left behind"

Appreciate your heart and find it no coincidence that we seem to be on the same path :) Here's to trusting....

Jenn said...

What a great post. Our family has learned this lesson the past year. Trusting God has had amazing rewards, even though it was incredibly difficult not being able to see where we were being led. Of course, looking back it all makes sense. I love the Benjamin Button quote Aaron shared--it's so true. It's the undersanding part that we have to let go of. God has given us an incredible gift of not letting us see our future. It's only in the trusting that we grow in relationship with Him. Any other way and we try to glorify ourselves and our own judgment.