“So this is the end of the story…”

While I believe the general narrative of this song is aimed at our often reckless stewardship of all of God’s generous gifts and a culture of more, more more, the opening phrase always echoes in my mind as Ash Wednesday and Lent draw closer. It just seems to fit so nice and tidy with Genesis 3:19. We, along with everyone and everything else, will return to dust, and be no more.

Perhaps it is a vocational hazard for a person of faith to interpret such things in this way. I find this especially poignant in view of the statistics that report downward trends in religious affiliation, weekly church attendance, giving, etc. Despite the signs being clear, we seem to have no idea that we are on this path. OR, if we know, we believe we are powerless to change course. We have gotten used to living in fear and being unable to picture our futures.

Yet, our eyes ARE wide open, but we continue to walk the plank, as if we had no choice to turn around or take some other action, listen to some other voice.

“Some people offered up answers.” There is almost no end to the number of books, seminars, blogs, etc. that suggest or offer new ways, new models of doing things. Granted, not all of them are helpful, but many have something to offer, something to challenge. And in many cases, there are some common threads through them. But, we pretend to hear, or we hear but don’t act, giving such ideas only lip service, but not letting it really amount to a change in the way we live as people of faith, individually or communally.

“Why would I make a change, if you won’t?” We don’t want to be alone in our efforts to change. We don’t want to feel like we are doing all the heavy lifting, especiallly when we are all in the same boat.  We don’t want to still be afloat “just for the moment.” This seems to hearken back to the general notion of Sin – not just the bad things we do, but the larger character behind the mask.  Martin Luther employed the Latin phrase, incurvatus in se, “curved in on oneself” to describe this state. We bend the things of God for our own sake, our own enjoyment, rather than to serve our neighbor.

Anyway, I know this is getting a bit preachy (don’t be too shocked), but I am equally culpable in behaviors and attitudes that perpetuate our moving knowingly toward oblivion.

Truth be told, though, even the dust that remains will be redeemed and made new one day. That’s the hope and promise of salvation. That’s not to rationalize or justify simply letting things fall apart around us, but through the Resurrection and long-awaited return of Christ, we still move forward, eyes wide open to see that this ISN’T the end of the story.

 

Song: Eyes Wide Open
Artist: Gotye
Album: Making Mirrors

Lyrics

So this is the end of the story,
Everything we had, everything we did,
Is buried in dust,
And this dust is all that’s left of us.
But only a few ever worried.

Well the signs were clear, they had no idea.
You just get used to living in fear,
Or give up when you can’t even picture your future.

We walk the plank with our eyes wide open.

We walk the plank with our eyes wide open, we…
(Walk the plank with our eyes wide open, we…)
Yeah, we walk the plank with our eyes wide open, we…
(Walk the plank with our eyes wide open.)

Some people offered up answers.
We made out like we heard, they were only words.
They didn’t add up to a change in the way we were living,
And the saddest thing is all of it could have been avoided.

But it was like to stop consuming’s to stop being human,
And why would I make a change if you won’t?
We’re all in the same boat, staying afloat for the moment.

We walk the plank with our eyes wide open, we…
(Walk the plank with our eyes wide open, we…)
Yeah we walk the plank with our eyes wide open, we…
(Walk the plank with our eyes wide open.)
We walk the plank with our eyes wide open,
We walk the plank with our eyes wide open,
We walk the plank with our eyes wide open, we…

With our eyes wide open, we walk the plank, we walk the plank.
With our eyes wide open, we walk the plank, we walk the plank, we walk the plank.
With our eyes wide open, we walk the plank, we walk the plank.

That was the end of the story.

 

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