"Open My Lips, O Lord!"

I remember back in my "Personality Theory" class years ago at Saint Norbert that there was a school of thought that suggested that one's earliest childhood memories would have a powerful, lasting effect on one's future development. We were asked how far back we could remember specific events in life -- "why does that come to mind?" "Why can't you go back further in your memory?"

Well, my earliest memories include my Mom walking me daily to Meidam's Grocery store in Antigo to pick up groceries for the night's dinner. Always somewhere nestled within that list were three important staples back then: bread, milk and cigarettes! Given Saint Mary Church was the halfway point in the two block commute, Mom always brought me into the church and allowed me to light a candle for Dad who was at work and David, Gina and Teresa who were at school. Like only a caring mother would do, if the candle I wanted to light (always at the foot of the cross attached to the candle bank) was already lit, Mom would re-arrange other people's already-lit candles so that my vigil light was always situated front and center! I get the impression that other faithful in Antigo had the same concept in mind -- when it came to lighting votive candles, it seemed to be an issue of "Location, location, location!" Nevertheless, that earliest childhood memory has had a lasting effect on me. And minus the re-arrangement of previously vigil candles at Old Saint Joe's, I'm still lighting up. Candles, that is! And the prayers continue to be offered!

It seems as though my earliest thought of each new day also seems to stick with me throughout the day. Such was the case this Friday morning. Normally I awake to a buzzer alarm. Yes, it's loud and obnoxious, but it does the job. But most recently I pressed some sort of button on my ipod deck / alarm and now I wake to music on a pre-set channel that seems to be a Christian radio station -- by accident or by Providence, perhaps! I do not even know the station's call letters or what the station is all about. One thing is clear, though:, I am not waking up with John Maino these days! (John will get a kick out of that one!)

Yesterday, there was a song that had great lyrics coupled with an equally terrific melody. Doing a little research later in the morning, I discovered the artist was Brandon Heath. As he continued to sing the mantra, "He's not finished with me yet," I realized that for some reason, a new day has dawned again, and for some reason, God has a plan for me, even today! So, here's what he had to offer:

Lyrics to Wait And See:

I was born in Tennessee
Late July humidity
Doctor said I was lucky to be alive

I’ve been trouble since the day that I got here
Trouble till the day that I disappear
That’ll be the day that I finally get it right

There is hope for me yet
Because God won’t forget
All the plans he’s made for me
I have to wait and see
He’s not finished with me yet

I never really was that good in school
I talked too much, broke the rules
Teacher thought I was hopeless fool alright

I don’t know how but I made it through
It’s one of those things that you’ve gotta do
But I always had a knack for telling the truth

Still wondering why I’m here
Still wrestling with my fear
But oh, He’s up to something
And the farther on I go
I’ve seen enough to know
That I’m, not here for nothing
He’s up to something

So now’s my time to be a man
Follow my heart as far as I can
No telling where I’m ending up tonight
I'll never slow down or so it seems
But singing my heart it’s one of my dreams
All I gotta do is hold on tight... ....


The more I listen to the song (which I subsequently purchased from iTunes) I realize that it's got quite the Advent theme ... Waiting! Waiting to see what God has in store for any one of us. And yet, I won't sit idly by just waiting for God's plan to be revealed. So Brandon's thoughts represent mine rather provocatively this Third Sunday of Advent:

"I'll never slow down or so it seems
But singing my heart it's one of my dreams
All I gotta do is hold on tight... ... ...!"

And through it all this weekend, "Go Pack Go!"


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