High school graduation. College graduation. Returning home from five months in Colombia, South America. Marriage. Going to the Philippines for four years. And now, returning home to the USA again. At each major turning point in my life, there has been something or someone that has helped encourage or direct me. In most, if not all, of the cases, it was multiple people and things. Last night, in another time of uncertainty, I had one of those moments while surrounded by men and women taking advantage of the unique Colorado atmosphere (and certain legal substances here) at the Mumford and Sons concert.
White Blank Page
My family and I just recently transitioned from Asia back to the US. Many people have asked us what’s next, and to be honest, we wish we had a better answer for them. Our next few months are, for lack of a better term, a white blank page. That reality was once again thrust into the forefront of my mind last night. Mumford and Sons, one of my personal favorite bands, performed at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater in Colorado. My wife and I had the privilege of going – our first time seeing Mumford on stage.
In what has been an absolute whirlwind of a month since we returned, this promised to be a great getaway from the hecticness of life. As Marcus Mumford started belting out White Blank Page in his amazingly distinctive voice, my mind immediately connected that phrase to our current place in life. In many ways, the world is at our disposal. We can go anywhere and do anything. And that’s an exciting place to be. But it’s also overwhelming – and quite frankly, a little scary.
I think this is exactly where God wants us though. The world tells us that we need to have it all figured out yesterday. “What’s your five year plan?” Five years? I don’t know what tomorrow will look like. I’m not saying that planning for the future is wrong. It’s wise. But it’s also not up to me to figure it all out. “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own,” the Bible says. Our lives are a white blank page – and it’s God who knows what will be written on them next.
Mumford also introduced some of their songs from their newest album, Delta. One of my favorite songs from this album is Guiding Light. So here I am, sitting on the lawn in Fiddler’s Green considering the uncertainty of our future, when through the darkness I hear Marcus’ words pierce my ears, mind, and heart again. “’Cause even when there is no star in sight, you’ll always be my only guiding light.”
Our future is foggy. We don’t know what it holds. But we know Someone who does. And even when there is no clear answer in sight, He will always be our guiding light. In Psalm 119:105, the author declares his desire to just do whatever it is God has for him. He says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” It’s a daily surrender to God’s plan and to His Word.
As the song ended and the crowd erupted in cheers once again, I was left smiling. Is this time tough? Sure. Do I feel lost? In some ways. But I know where the Lighthouse is – and I can trust that He will always be my only guiding light.
I Will Wait
As the show went on, Mumford and Sons continued to serenade the perfect night sky of Southeast Denver. I continued to bask in the warmth of their voices, the comfort of the fiddle, and the hope of a future known by my Guiding Light. Mumford’s final three songs in the set included my two absolute favorites. My second favorite song is arguably their most famous. In fact, earlier in the show, an audience member yelled out in a moment of quietness that they wanted “I Will Wait.” Lead singer Marcus Mumford responded perfectly with a chuckle and cheeky comment, “First time at a show, mate? We save the best for the end.”
Well the moment came right there near the end when the all-too-familiar strum of the guitar in their most famous song blasted through the speakers. The crowd went wild. But rather than just cheering, everyone wanted to sing along with the song that basically everyone knew. So along with 20,000 other people, I sang the beautiful lyrics. “But I’ll kneel down, wait for now. And I’ll kneel down, know my ground. And I will wait, I will wait for you. And I will wait, I will wait for you.”
Our lives are a white blank page, but we know the Guiding Light – and so we wait. We wait for Him to show us. We wait for Him to reveal what’s next. We do so expectantly – on bended knee in prayer. But we wait. Patience is not easy – especially in this fast food culture. But we wait. Isaiah 40:31 says, “”But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” And so we wait.
Awake My Soul
But while we wait, we don’t just sit idle. My favorite song by Mumford and Sons is “Awake My Soul.” In this we are reminded to focus on what’s truly important. “In these bodies, we will live; in these bodies, we will die. Where you invest your love, you invest your life.”
We may not know what the future holds, but while we are still alive in these bodies, we can still invest in what matters. Each and every day is an opportunity to live your life to its fullest. It’s up to you what that means. But I challenge you, as I’m challenged by this song every time I hear it, to consider what is a wise investment of your time. Time is money, people say. I don’t know if you can literally say it’s money, but time is most certainly valuable. Are you wasting it? Or are you investing it in something worthwhile?
Mumford and Sons plays incredible music. I love listening to it in the car with the windows down on a nice, sunny afternoon. They’re easy listening. As such, I had big expectations for last night’s concert. But music is a funny thing. It speaks to us all in different ways at different times. And for that reason, last night’s Mumford and Sons concert may very well go down as the most influential (and at the same time, enjoyable) show I’ve ever attended. Mumford showed up – expected, as they get paid to perform. My wife and I showed up – expected, as we paid to watch them. But then God showed up too – and that was less expected, but exactly what this Hopeless Wanderer needed.