Thursday, January 06, 2011


When I was younger man, I worked at a bible camp. At this camp,
I helped to get a radio station off the ground and running in a fully
functional and movable van. And just like that, the JUICE was
born. The JUICE was the name of the station and it was a regular
hang-out spot for kids and made for some hot summer afternoons
crammed into an old, powder-plush-blue seated van passing mic's
around between myself and Dalton.

My main beef with the station, though, was the fact that everything
played on the JUICE was Christian music. Most Christian music to
me sounded much like Charlie Brown's parents - mwa mwa mwa
MWAAAAAA. I didn't like the shiny feel and production of 95%
of what we played - I didn't like the packaging of the artwork and
how it always showed smiley, shiny people with glossy faces - I
didn't like the fact that we weren't paying royalties to these probably
broke Christian artists...there were lots of 'unlikes'.

There were, however, a few gems that managed to find their way
on to the airwaves whenever I was in control. One of those was a
track by a rapper named John Reuben. This guy, in his simplicity
and humility, gift for gab and unpretentious style won me over
with a song I'll never forget. Hindsight. The song beautifully weaves
a tapestry of life in the regrets, highs, lows, questions, doubts and
revelations of the everyman. At first, I was surprised it was a
Christian song because I actually liked it and hated so many others.

One line of the well-written word-bomb of a song reads:
'Is it a must that I'm here - Is it a must that I stay
In order to move forward - must I look away...'
The song's eager yearning for truth and definition of this weird,
bizarre existence was something that resonated deeply within
me. But more interesting to me was the whole idea of a line that
Al Pacino spat in Glengarry Glen Ross (the cinematic version of the
Mamet play): 'This life is either lookin' forward - or lookin' back.
There ain't no here and now'. I wrote the entire lyrics out on one
of my older songbooks with a sharpie and they still serve as a
good reminder of the fleeting essence.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about Hindsight and looking
forward and looking back and how I don't really exist in the
now. I've been doing a lot of looking back, lately - some
intense examination. We all must look back before we can
look forward.

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
   test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting. 

(Psalm 139: 23, 24)

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