Choosing Our Confessions

spotlight pic

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9

Oh life, it’s bigger,
It’s bigger than you
And you are not me.

It takes a while to get it. For some longer than others.  Life truly is bigger than any one of us.

And no matter how big or small we are, something we all share is this: the crush.

Oh yes, your first crush. And the subsequent inevitable feelings of inadequacy that accompany it. You want to hold back on your feelings, but you can’t and you feel exposed.

Then again, we’re all naked before God, right? He knows the secrets of our hearts. There is no hiding place here. Might as well just come clean.

Still, we resist…

i can remember Michael Stipe playing and singing in Athens, GA, back before R.E.M. had any degree of commercial success. Performing at the 40 Watt Club (which is a legendary place and a story waiting for another blog post) one of the premier founding punk/new wave clubs that fostered groups like Pylon, Love Tractor and the Indigo Girls, just to name a few. Those of us enjoying penny beer night back in 1979 could hear the potential, but really did not know who we were so privileged to see. Who knew then what the future would hold for Michael and the  boys from Athens?

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it

They may well not have known what they were doing.  According to the album liner notes, the music was composed in just minutes; Stipe wrote the lyrics in less than an hour and recorded the vocals in one take.

Every whisper
Of every waking hour
I’m choosing my confessions
Trying to keep an eye on you

Ultimately, we can’t choose our confessions. Not to our crushes and certainly not to God. And doesn’t it really feel better when we release everything? Isn’t there a kind of relief in the exposure?

Consider this, the hint of the century
Consider this, the slip
That brought me to my knees, failed
What if all these fantasies come, flailing around

And once it’s slipped, you feel totally disadvantaged. And then you begin to worry that it may actually work out. What then? What if it really happens? Will there be incredible joy and happiness…or just more shattered expectations?

In human relationships the outcomes are very uncertain. But not with God. Confession can only bring peace and joy. You feel…clean.

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it

But we can do it. And we will. As Lyle Lovett once wrote:

Look I understand too little too late.
I realize there are things you say and do
You can never take back.
But what would you be if you didn’t even try?
You have to try.
So after a lot of thought
I’d like to reconsider.
Please if it’s not too late,
Make it a cheeseburger

“Losing My Religion” is one of my all time faves and was R.E.M.’s biggest U.S, charted hit. It was ranked #169 on Rolling Stone magazine’s “Top 500 Songs of All Time” list and #9 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Songs of The 90’s”.

By the way, “losing my religion” is a slang expression for losing one’s cool or being at the end of your rope. I know we all feel that way at times!

Confess. Go ahead, let it roll…you can do it.

Listen here:

Acoustic version: