Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dreams We Conceive

Genre: Rock
Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Album: Night Castle

I did a song from this album only two songs ago (although that was nearly a year ago now). There are other songs from this album I would love to do as well. This song isn't so much the lyrics that touch me as it is the emotion behind them. But I will still try to do it justice.

In this song, a soldier is telling his captor about how he met his wife, how they spent only one night together before he was deployed, and how he got a call two months later telling him he was going to be a father. He had dreams of spending time with his child. He would play catch. He would tell stories. He would be a happy family man. But now, as he lies sick inside his captor's tent, he realizes with anguish that none of these dreams will come true.

His dreams were beautiful! The stars would star at them in wonder. But the night faded away, along with all of his dreams. The man "never believed that the dreams we conceive would ever not ever come true!" He feels left behind and forgotten. He describes a train driving in the night and everybody is on it except him. He wonders, will that train return for a single life--for him? Does he matter enough that the train will return for him, or will he and his dreams be forgotten?

Like the man in this song, I too have dreams. They are beautiful dreams. They are dreams to treasure and love. But I have recently come to the sad realization that many of the dreams I have conceived will never come true. Some dreams will come true, and those are the dreams that really matter. But other dreams will have to be sacrificed for things that are more important to them.

In the live action Peter Pan movie that was released in 2003, Mrs. Darling tells her children that their father is a very brave man. She explains that he has a drawer in which he keeps his dreams. Sometimes he opens the drawer and admires the beautiful dreams. But he always closes the drawer again. She explains that each time the drawer is harder and harder to close, but still he does it. And that makes him a brave person. As much as I want to live my dreams, I have already committed to be like Mr. Darling. Although it is hard, I will always close that drawer and keep my priorities in order.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Set the Kingdom

Genre: Progressive Rock
Artist: Neal Morse
Album: Lifeline [Bonus Disc]

I love this song because it causes the listener to evaluate what matters the most. The first words of the song immediately call for reflection: "What have I set before me?" What a profound question! "Are my eyes on the desert or are they up where all things arise?" "We become what we're beholding. What's the food our souls find to feed?" What am I putting into my life? What is my focus? What is my goal? Sometimes I lose track of what really matters. But this song reminds me of what I need to do.

"Set the Kingdom before your eyes!" I need to place the Gospel before me and make it my top priority. Everything else shifts and changes, but the Gospel remains firm. Ever since I was a little boy I loved the Gospel more than anything else. At twelve, I received a blessing where I was told that I had already dedicated my life to the Savior. As I look at myself now, I feel that I have lost track of that. I sometimes seem to be living from one day to the next, with no real goal in mind. I need to look above everything else and see through eternity's perspective again. I need to see that there is so much more than what is before me.

I am grateful for times of reflection and self-evaluation. I am grateful for the Atonement, which lets me repent and improve. If I ever seem to lose track of where I am going, I need to ask myself, "What have I set before me?" If it is not God's Kingdom, then I need to make changes in my life. I must set the Kingdom before my eyes, and trust the promise in the scriptures that everything else will be added to me.