February 26, 2010, 6:14 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” Henry David Thoreau

I know this to be true. I see in the lives of some of my friends. I saw it in my own life for years.

I want to know why. Why don’t we break out and live? What are we holding onto that is so precious it keeps us from truly living?

Why are we so willing to go to our graves with our song still inside?


5 Comments so far
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So is it possible that sometimes when God pries our fingers off all that we cling to, and we lose everything we grasped, it might be the catalyst to a great adventure of discovery?

Comment by Lynn Dean

Jim, found your blog after reading your interview with Novel Journey. You ask a great question here, and I think the answer is fear. We listen to the Lie of Not Good Enough because it’s easy. It’s safe. Last week I read the following by Gregg Levoy – and this, along with the persisent, consistent messages I’ve been seeing in my life (including your comments on NJ – thanks for that) may have finally gotten me back in the game.

The Tragedy of the Unopened Gift

To sinful patterns of behavior that never get confronted and changed,
Abilities and gifts that never get cultivated and deployed –
Until weeks become months
And months turn into years,
And one day you’re looking back on a life of
Deep, intimate, guy-wrenchingly honest conversations you never had;
Great bold prayers you never prayed,
Exhilarating risks you never took,
Sacrificial gifts you never offered,
Lives you never touched,
And you’re sitting in a recliner with a shriveled soul,
And forgotten dreams, and you realize there was a world of desperate need,
And a great God calling you to be a part of something bigger than yourself –
You see the person you could have become but did not;
You never followed your calling.
You never got out of the boat.

Comment by Wayne Scott

Love it, Wayne!

Comment by jimrubart

A ship is safe in harbor but that’s not what ships are built for.
It is fear, I agree. Fear of taking that chance and actually putting yourself out there for everyone to see. I know because I’m still afraid. I’ve stuck my toe into a lot of lakes but I haven’t yet jumped in.
I would like to thank you for the post and for those that commented, I needed to read this right now.

Comment by Traveler

My first answer to your question would be fear. But when we’re no longer afraid, what’s to hold us back? How about timing. At the writer’s conference at Ridgecrest this year, I discovered some songs that need singing. I just wondered when. God helped me to know the progression of the music. When where how. And I’m discovering why. “Why” can be the hardest question to ask. Why does God want me to do this? Or, why does He want me to wait? Waiting can be good. It gets the song right. Thanks for your post!

Comment by Katy Kauffman

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