The timing of the song flooded the room for maximum impact. I was breathing heavy through spin class as we mounted a five minute hill. What about Us, the arresting lyrics repeated. I know I’ve heard the song before because the tune sounded familiar. But this time, I paid attention to the words. I wanted to belt it out with every exhale in agreement. Right! What about us, Universe?!!!!
What about us?
What about all the times you said you had the answers?
What about us?
What about all the broken happy ever afters?
Oh, what about us?
What about all the plans that ended in disaster?
Oh, what about love? What about trust?
What about us?
The song ended at the top of our hill. The class had earned a two minute recovery, but I was bothered. What? You’re going to leave us hanging with only our raw, pleading question?
For a secular song, I think these lyrics by Pink are indeed thought provoking. They’re honest and quite universal if we all could admit it. But it does beg the question…who are we asking? Our political leadership? The Universe? God? And… even more important, do they have the answer?
The song makes the case that we’re all victims of some big con, we’ve all been duped. We’ve been sold a pack of lies which puts everything in doubt.
What about me?
Of course, we are bolder and braver when we’re one voice among the crowd. But, other times, when we’re alone in our honest thoughts, what about me, we wonder?
The ‘set-up’ day
Soon we’ll celebrate Valentines Day. And if you ask cynical me, it’s the biggest ‘set-up’ day we have all year. Some years by chance, we get through it unscathed. But most years the chocolate is too bitter, or the valentine is too bitter, or worst of all, there is no valentine.
Even when my kids were young I hated the pressure of valentines day. Homemade treats and cards mattered a whole lot more to me than my kids who would pass them out. One year, I threw in the towel. I would go to target, allow the kids to pick out a cheap pack of forty and be done with it. Ian chose some Pokemon trading cards and wrote his name with a sharpie embellishing some of the characters with added facial hair or exaggerated expressions. Frustrated and disappointed by his “non-conforming’ choice, I went to Doug for support. He didn’t think it was a big deal at all. ARGH, another valentines day set-up.
Valentines day, more than any other holiday, is full of landmines also known as expectations. I’ve heard it said that expectations are disappointments waiting to happen.
I’m sure this has never happened to you… your significant other asks you what you want. You answer coyly, oh nothing dear. And he falls for it, and you get exactly what you asked for, nothing. Ouch. Doug and I have been together long enough and are equally cynical. Now, we both scowl at the holiday and get through it as a normal day.
The Danger of Disappointment
Are you disappointed in someone? Maybe you’re disappointed by a situation, or some messy circumstances. Perhaps your disappointment results from an unfortunate turn of events that you have no control over? A small disappointment doesn’t typically remain small. It festers. Over time it creates distrust, resentment and distance. And when fully blown can even become outrage, as in the song, What About Us?
Where the buck stops
Often, sadly, when we can’t find who or what to blame, God takes the hit. The buck ultimately stops with God.
When I feel disappointment towards God I can always trace it back to an unmet expectation. He didn’t answer my prayer the way I had hoped. Or, I think an outcome couldn’t possibly be consistent with a good God. Sometimes I simply don’t understand His ways.
Together we faced it
As a direct result of my collective DISAPPOINTMENTS (anger, confusion and questions) over these past few years, my faith has been stretched and my relationship with Him strengthened. Instead of ‘just moving on’ which had been my pattern, together we faced the muck. During our time, I’ve collected evidence. I’ve noted over and over again His faithfulness to me. I’ve studied His word, and have been reassured of His trustworthy character and His love for me. And that has changed everything.
At the cross
I am not so naive to believe I’m over my disappointments. But I’ve learned that to move forward, secure in Him, I must leave them at the cross.
He and I have history, and I don’t have to ever wonder, what about me. That can be true for you too.
Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Jesus, not only has the answer…He is the answer.