I was in dark state of mind: it was last Monday, my day off, I am a pastor, I do that! It was a depressing Monday, early February, snow was falling again, it was bone cold.
As I meditated on my past sermon, reflected on important personal conversations and nursed a Super Bowl hang-over (not from beer but from Doritos & pop), my wife and I pulled into Arby's to get an early lunch. While unwrapping a hot roast beef, a song came over the speakers: I knew it instantly with its cheesy guitar riff, yep, it was Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl." It is the kinda song where the melody and lyrics make me want to pull out my hair:
You know I wish that I had Jessie's girl
I wish that I had Jessie's girl
Where can I find her, a woman like that?
It is the perfect stalker song. An ode to unrequited love, a sappy melancholy man wishing he could have another guys girl,"I wish that I could have...I wish that I could could.." ENOUGH ALREADY! And then my dark mind started thinking, "I wish that I had the money Rick Springfield earned for writing such a worthless song. I wish that I had money for all the worthless songs that have made it big (I was thinking of artists like Jay Z, Katie Perry, Lady Gaga...I wish that I had...) My dark thoughts plunged deeper: I wish I didn't have to struggle so much preaching while worthlessness rules on a global scale, schleps of every size and shape raking in millions. How does someone like Kim Kardashian make millions? Ah-h-h-h....I could scream!
I told you, dark thoughts on a cold Monday.
While finishing my sandwich, licking Arby's sauce drippings from my thumb, I had one more thought, "My only hope is heaven, all chips in." If there was no heaven I would lose my mind. Springfield's net worth is $12 million dollars, bad 80's hair and all, for cryin out loud, where is the justice? "I wish..." But wait, sanity returned, The words of another song filled my mind, Psalm 73:15-20:
When I tried to understand all this,it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.
We pull out of the Arby's parking lot and turn on the radio. It's James Blunt, "My life is brilliant, my love is pure, I saw an angel, of this I'm sure..." Oh no, not another melancholy sappy stalker...turn it off! But, "I wish that I..." No Chris, no! A thousand times NO!
You have got it made, as Psalm 73 ends...
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.