Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Break Me"

Back in June, I promised that a recording of one of my new songs was on the way. Three months later, it's finally done.

"Done" being a relative term. See, I envisioned the song for a man (since there's a line about being a king) and with a sort-of angry rock vibe to the chorus. The only problem is that I can't really sing, and Amanda, who plays all the instruments for me on her keyboard, hasn't been in a rock band. So this is an extremely amateur demo version of the song that we ended up with. (Any friends with musical talent who want to help record a new demo are welcome to volunteer...) Nevertheless, it's close enough to what I wanted that it's worth sharing at this point.

Disclaimers aside, I really like the song itself. The idea behind the lyrics is that it's really easy to get lulled into a false sense of achievement in one's Christian walk. Maybe for a while we struggle and strive, but then we see other people around us perfectly content and happy to be doing token service to God and it's easy to wonder: Why am I striving so hard? I could just put on the right outward show and no one would be the wiser.

For me, I am not strong enough to break out of that lethargy and stasis once it gets ahold of me. I think: That's probably a good idea, I really should love more, I need to wake from this slumber — but I never get beyond thinking. I just can't bring myself to be the one to pull the trigger. I have to give myself over God and allow him to shatter my illusions about myself, and to break my spirit of inertia. I pray for winds of change, for life to strip me clean, so that my Christian calling is unearthed from piles of rationalizations. This song is about being forcibly destroyed and remade — the sheer terror of that, and the unsettling knowledge that my heart truly needs it.

music & lyrics by Steve Lansingh

(if the embedded version won't play, you can download the song here)

I want to be like you, but there's so much of me
that I find I can't let go
I want to share your grace, but I'm too opaque
to let your spirit show

so break this earthen vessel
to let your glory shine
I just can't swing the hammer with
these timid hands of mine
and when I am made nothing then
I'll fin'lly be alive...

just break me, devastate me,
shatter my life with your majesty
invade me, subjugate me,
and in your power remake me
in your power remake me

I want to be your hands, I want to be your feet
but I live within my skin
I keep my distance and put up resistance
to taking others in

so free me from this fortress
where only I am king
batter e'vry rampart
and grant me suffering
then lead me out to greet those who
you love so achingly

so break me, overtake me,
rule in my life in your sovereignty
embrace me, permeate me,
and in your power remake me
in your power remake me

i want to be like you, but there's so much of me
that I find I can't let go

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