Saturday, June 4, 2011
Artist: Neal Morse
Album: Testimony 2 (Bonus Disc)
I know I won't be able to do this song justice in this post, and I apologize for that right away. I'm not even going to try to describe how incredible the instruments are in this song, especially the guitar solo performed by Steve Morse towards the end. What I hope to do is somehow capture the meaning this song has for me.
Like many of Neal's epic songs that I love, this song depicts a journey. It begins in "the fields of gray and far from home." The fields of gray can represent so many things. For me, it represents any place that is away from God, or any activity or lifestyle that doesn't include Him. Neal describes it as a danger zone, but encourages us to "Look away to a place where this war is worlds away." I imagine that place as heaven, where God is. Neal continues, "Where it's all about you, and it's not about me. In a place where you'll always want to stay." A little later, he exclaims, "There's a place for me in the city of light, if I'm found there." If I want to go to the city of light, to God's presence, there is a place for me. I need only decide to go there.
But then we hit part of the song where I often find myself; I try to make it on my own and find fulfillment in things that can't last. Neal describes this fruitless chase with the following words: "It's all just a show," "Grind down the wheel 'til you can't feel it no more," "Run 'til you drop." But at the conclusion of all this, a voice still calls to us, "I'll still love you more." No matter how much I try to find something fulfulling in this world, God still loves me more than anything else can.
The next part of the journey is this sudden realization that the things the world has to offer are empty. "This is the day all your life you've looked forward to...but now that it's here, it's the great disappointment." When we realize that the world has nothing of substance to offer, we may find ourselves feeling destitute. I know I have experienced that. But again comes the voice from the distance that calls to me, inviting me. "There's a homecoming beyond the danger zone, where you never feel alone and tomorrow feels like home! Yes, there's a homecoming when you'll admit you're wrong, when you're tired and you've lived too long. Come on home, where you belong."
Those lines are so beautifully sung! As soon as I admit that I am wrong and turn back to the true Source of life, I immediately find a homecoming. I love the line "when you're tired and you've lived too long." I've certainly felt that way before. But it doesn't mean that I have been on the earth too long. To me, it really means that I've lived away from God too long. That is why I need to come home.
And thus concludes the journey! Perhaps we are still in the fields of gray, but through the redemption of the Savior, we are able to sow the seeds of gold. My chains break free, and the seeds of gold transform my world, until I truly can "look away to a place where [I] know [I'll] be ok." Suddenly, I'm not tired of living. "I have my whole life in front of me." This song is a reminder for me to seek satisfaction and fulfillment from that which is everlasting. I honestly cannot write my feelings adequately about what this song means to me, but hopefully you can follow me to a small degree along the journey where this song takes me.