I’ve been listening to a lot of Gabe Dixon lately.  I go through these phases in which a certain type of music fascinates me and it never seems to make much sense which way I’ll go.  For example, a Pink phase will be followed by a meditation music phase.  Go figure.

Anyway, lately it’s been Gabe Dixon.  There’s a song on The Gabe Dixon Band’s self-titled album called “Further the Sky.”  It’s a sweet song, but it’s always bothered me a little bit because it seems so… negative.  Like you just can’t win.  Here are the lyrics:

When you don’t know where you’re going and you don’t know why
It feels like another day’s beating into the night
Lay your head on my chest while my beatin’ heart pounds out the secret of this life

The higher you reach
The further the sky
The more miles you walk
The longer the road
The steeper you climb
The harder you stand to fall
The stronger you get
The heavier the load

I wish I could give you the answers and paper and ink
I wish I could stop all the tears before they start falling
But we’re feeling our way and we’re always beginners
We’re all cuts and no scars

The bigger the dream
The rougher the ride
The truer the love
The deeper the ache
The blinder the faith
The tougher the go…

I have been thinking about these lyrics a lot.  And I realize now that they are not really negative, underdog lyrics.  The song is only negative when we look at it through the lens of our “do-all, be-all” culture that insists you are nothing if you haven’t accomplished something.

The line “But we’re feeling our way and we’re always beginners” gives it away.

It doesn’t matter how far the sky is.  It doesn’t matter if we ever reach it.  The reaching for it is all that matters.  It doesn’t matter how long the road is or whether we get to the end of it.  And no matter how strong we get, there will be more challenges, more things to learn – and there’s not anything wrong with that.

In this life, we will never be finished.  “Lay your head on my chest while my beatin’ heart pounds out the secret of this life.”  And that’s the secret – the heart beats and beats and beats… it’s never done until life is done.  There is no goal for those heartbeats other than to just be what they are – always working to sustain life.

This is a lesson I still need to learn.  It’s a lesson we all learn every day we are living.