Thursday, September 30, 2010

Time to Leave - John Reuben

Taught young, the world’s wisdom
I was told: "Life’s a game, the earth will be your stadium,
Be alert, pay attention,
one day even your friends will become the competition.
Trust no one; but do remember this, never burn any potential bridges,
know who’s who, and what they can do for you.
And don’t feel bad cause in the end they’re gonna do it to you too.
Remember life’s not fair;
in order to maintain, your gonna have to let you sensitivity be trained:
a machine more than a human being.
What you say doesn’t always have to be what you mean;
tell them what they want to hear if it’s to your benefit.
And words beyond closed doors are insignificant.
Push yourself, never be satisfied
Even if you don’t get it, at least you died knowing you tried."

Born, live, strive, succeed
Gain it all, bye, now it’s time to leave…
Now, all we see is now

Taught young, the world’s wisdom
begin to pay attention and make my own observations.
All of the kids working hard for admiration;
doing their best not to meet their social expiration.
Kind of hard in a world this finicky,
easily praised and yet destroyed just as quickly.
I guess me and this world must not be compatible, 
cause I don’t want its approval to feel valuable.
So who’s next to climb the wall of success, just to see how good the top truly gets?
Chasing lies disguised as going somewhere, only to arrive and realize it’s really no where.
That’s even if you get there in the first place;
what an incredible let down we’re bound to face 
when we substitute purpose for cheap counterfeit.
Too busy trying to succeed in life that we forget to live it.

You can live in the infinite or give in to the immediate;
Gain it all but someday you’ll have to leave it.
This world is temporary and it’s heart is selfish.
Think to yourself, is this what wealth is?
But now, all we see is now, and now is not a bad thing but now does bring tomorrow, then
now becomes then;
Moments escape, new ones replace them.
Don’t want to face the end still searching.
Asking, "What in this world did I ever find worth in?
What could be worse than life of wasted years?"
Nothing lasting, nothing true, nothing dear.
I fear losing beauty in pursuit of bigger things;
I fear a broken home courtesy of the American dream.
Maybe that’s just me with my emotions on my sleeve,

but one way or another we all wear what we believe.

Born, live, strive, succeed
Gain it all, bye, now it’s time to leave…

But now, we’re wasting now

Personal Reflection: 

I've been listening to John Reuben for almost two years now, but for whatever reason, I really feel a connection to this song right now.  The first set of lyrics talks about a wisdom that I heard a lot of growing up - particularly from my dad during my high school years.  At the time, I took it in and made it my own: Dedicate yourself, befriend the right people, and do whatever it takes to succeed.  When I arrived on the engineering scene, I found a lot of people who thought similarly and I felt as though I belonged.

However, the seeds of Christianity that were planted in me late in high school were also at work.  I found that most of us who were working hard, were working hard for the wrong reasons.  (See the second grouping of lyrics.)  We were all trying to impress each other and I found myself in competition, instead of cooperation, with many of my peers.  When I came to this realization, I realized engineering wasn't really my thing either.  Although I did enjoy learning in general, I didn't feel alive, excited or engaged in my discipline.  I knew it was time for a change.

Where most my engineers comrades were captivated by the money and respect, I found myself dealing with my peers on a more social level.  Over the course of 18 months, I found my way back into teaching and education.  I want to work face-to-face with people on a social level because I care about their physical, mental and spiritual needs and growth as a fellow human who share the need to be loved; I could careless about the pay cut.  When I am teaching or working with people in any context, I realize every time (like it was the first time) that I am utilizing my God-given gifts.  Most adolescent educational systems won't admit that their sole purpose is to produce economy.  So when I am in those situation, I hope it is evident in my teaching and in my daily actions that you can live for something more money, economy or fame.  

Because at the end of our lives, all those things that we have worked so hard to obtain will be taken from us.  But understanding and experiencing the love of a Savior is something that sticks with you for no matter.  And if you believe in this with me, then don't waste today, or another minute for that matter, not doing what God has set before you.  Live within your God given passions and callings while sharing that joy with everyone who comes across your path.  And if you don't believe or understand what I'm talking about, then you must have some questions for me.  Please ask them because it would be my joy to have a conversation with you.

Time to leave...

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