Now that we have completed our study of Pharisees and are firmly entrenched in our own Pharisee recovery program, it’s time to provide you with some assistance in doing this. To help in this endeavor, Marti and I thought of my album, “Casual Crimes.” Since most of these songs deal with personal inner struggle, they are great for getting at that inner Pharisee that is in all of us. So for this short week (the Catch will take a Thanksgiving vacation Thursday and Friday) and next, we will take a song a day and see what we can capture about Losing that Pharisee.
Each day we will provide a free listen to the song of the day, and we highly recommend you listen to the song first, as long as you promise you will come back and read the Catch. In fact, since you are most likely reading your Catch in your email program, you should be able to come back to it once you get the music started so as to follow along with the lyrics. Whatever you do, be sure and come back here or go to our website to read the Catch.
Time For You
I have been the subject of an endless theme
And the star in everybody else’s dream
I have fought the demons of my own dark night
Finding only shadows in the dawning light
My ship is in, my debt is due
The time is now, the time for you
I have crossed the chasms of my casual crimes
I have passed the sign at least a thousand times
Waiting for a hand to rescue me
While at any time I could have walked out free
There are no more places where me heart can flee
There are no more friends to give me sympathy
I am out of reasons; I am out of time
I am out to make it in the uphill climb
Since there is nothing casual about any crime, you can tell this is a song about rationalizations. More importantly, it’s a song about finding and realizing one’s rationalizations in order to hopefully lose them, or have them stripped away, which is more likely the case, since none of us is strong enough to do this on our own, and it’s a continual battle. Proof of that is that this song is as real to me today as when I wrote it.
Little sins. Oh how we love those little sins. Ours will always be little compared with everyone else’s. Of course there is no such thing as a little sin, just as there are no casual crimes, but we like to tell ourselves there are.
Just the other day, as we were driving to see our new granddaughter, Marti mentioned, much too casually for me, that she couldn’t trust me. What? She said it as if it were common knowledge. Me? I could see her saying that about someone else, but me? She can’t trust her own husband? I was shocked, because I think of myself as being entirely trustworthy. That’s how good I am in my own eyes. But if I start listing the things I’ve said I would do and haven’t done, the list becomes longer than a child’s wish list on Christmas.
Saying you’re going to do something and not doing it is a crime, and there is nothing casual about it. Doesn’t matter how sincere you are when you say it; if you don’t do it, it’s a crime. And it’s even more of a heinous crime if you say you’re going to do something knowing full well that you will not. That’s a bald-faced lie. First, I was surprised over what she told me; then as I slowly realized how guilty I was, I was surprised at how surprised I was — how thorough had been my rationalization. I have gotten very good at this.
That’s another one of my crimes: how I can teach something so well and not pay attention to it myself. That’s one of the dangers of being a writer. I can fool myself (and probably you, too) into thinking that what I capture in words I have incorporated into my life. Not necessarily so. That’s why the recovering Pharisee program I just completed writing about last week is so necessary. It’s a constant battle. Remember Step 6: Are ready to have God remove all these defects of attitude and character? Maybe being ready isn’t good enough.
Too many times my confessions get as far as the keyboard they are typed into or the paper they are printed on. That’s not far enough. Look at what I got ahold of in this song, and look at how these issues are still in my life. My crimes are certainly not casual to anyone but me.
But now I’m missing the whole point of this song in that I have spent the first six paragraphs on myself when it’s supposed to be time for you. Who’s that? Well for me, it’s primarily my wife, Marti. It starts with one you truly love and extends out to anyone other than yourself. Time for you; time for someone else. It’s not about you; it’s about them.
Time to put your attention and focus on someone else. Time to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Time to anticipate what someone else needs. Time to do unto someone what you would like to have done unto you. Time to make the person you’re talking to the subject of the conversation rather than yourself. Time to find out about them instead of finding out about you. Time to plan for someone else.
Time for me? No. Time for you.
Marti Wants to Know…
When was the last time you took time to care for the one you truly loved without expecting anything in return? Marti wants to know. (Remember, Marti’s the so-what person.) Send me your answer: We really mean this! (firstname.lastname@example.org)