Wednesday, January 12, 2011

God's Own Open Road

Every month, my community's blog, "Franciscanized World", presents a new song to listen to, to reflect on, and many times, to download for free. Each month's "song of the month" is different from the others and thus appeal to a wide variety of musical tastes. I check back every month to listen to the songs. Regardless of the style of music, all present a challenge to me, and this one in particular challenges me.

The song is called "God's Own Open Road" and it is written and performed by Tish Hinojosa. The Sisters are asking us (FYI: this includes you) to reflect on discernment with the song, being that this week is Vocation Awareness Week. Well I was expecting to listen to a simple song about the open road we journey on in life...what I heard was the words of a poet, with each line prompting me to think deeper....and it's still morning! I was relieved to look in the "comments" section and find that one of the postulants, Leslie, already wrote a reflection:

This song is a beautiful use of everyday imagery to reach a deeper spiritual truth. As we walk through this world every person has moments of questioning. We are all called to be seekers of the truth.

Then Sister Julie Ann wrote:

These lyrics articulate that which is difficult to discern...I want to know about the outer reaches Everything that heartbreak teaches Questions of survival that in every soul exist...
If National Vocation Awareness Week 2011 moves even one person to dig deeply for answers to these kind of questions, it will be a celebration of real commitment.

Perhaps I was thinking too hard.

In any case, it prompted me to reflect on where I've been, where I am, and where I am going on "God's Own Open Road" since I can't egocentrically claim it as my own journey, my own road. God is the GPS that keeps leading me back to His direction for my life, announcing "recalculating" every time I deviate from the path He's lovingly marked for the welfare of everyone. (I cannot claim this analogy of God as a GPS, and unfortunately I can't remember who brought this analogy to my attention.)

To quote part of the song:
Walking on the streets I’ve known
A city that I once called home
A stranger now another time
That doesn’t want me back

Poems in my native tongue
Whisper where I used to run
The river brushing by a shore
That knew it all along

Here I stood and there I dreamed
A future bright as magazines
Without the shades of sorrow in between
Where we’ve been & what we’ve seen
Are we taught or are we teaching
Reaching seeking needing preaching
Pleading speeding screeching to a halt

As I listened, an image flashed before me of where I came from:

The sky line, the Grand River; the city lights, take me mentally back to the past, and where I thought I was headed in the future that is now the present. As I follow along this path, asking questions of God, I am conscious that He is guiding me to grow into a deeper relationship with Him and to lead others to do the same. Everything else will fall into place.

"He must increase; I must decrease" (John 3:30, NAB).

If you wish to also reflect on this song, please click here.

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