The tension between two worlds, two desires, two realities, is often well expressed in song. Take these lyrics from The Altar and the Door, a song by Casting Crowns:

Careless, I am reckless

I’m a wrong-way-travelin’-slowly-unraveling shell of a man

Burnt out, I’m so numb now

That the fire’s just an ember way down in the corner of my cold, cold heart

Lord, this time I’ll make it right, here at the altar I lay my life

Your kingdom come but my will was done, my heart is broken as I…

Cry, like so many times before

But my eyes are dry before I leave the floor, oh Lord

I try but this time, Jesus, how can I be sure I will not lose my follow through

Between the altar and the door

There is this enormous tension between wanting to do the right thing, to kindle the fire of love for Jesus and his Kingdom and to place his will above our own – but how to follow through with it if this determination fades the moment the door of the church is passed?

The song itself gives a hint of a way out of this dilemma:

I’m trying so hard to stop trying so hard

Just let You be who You are

Lord, who You are in me

Jesus, I’m trying so hard to stop trying so hard

Just let You be who You are

Lord, who You are in me

‘Stop trying so hard.’ But oh how hard I often do try. ‘Let You be who You are in me.’ Surrender. Would that be the answer?

{Listen to The Altar and the Door on Spotify.}

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