Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Finish Line

I was reading from the Garage Band Theatre blog today and John's words really hit me. The Christian life isn't all "happy happy joy joy." It can be quite the opposite. (I can attest to that fact) It's not about a "shiny happy Jesus" as Sarah so eloquently puts it. It's a struggle and it's a fight. This song by Steve Taylor sprung to mind as I read what John had written. They are especially hard-hitting following the death of our faithful friend Bill Reese. Read 'em and weep, children.

"The Finish Line is one of the only songs I've written that really effects me emotionally still even when I hear it. I just think, 'I got it right on that song.' It's just the story of someone who runs the race, and it's not like a steady uphill victory climb, it's not doing a victory march into Heaven or something like that, it's run with blood and sweat and perseverance. The title for the album 'Squint' actually came from a line in The Finish Line--'Off in the distance bloodied but wise / as you squint with the light of the truth in your eyes'--we don't necessarily see the finish line real clearly in front of us; we have to sort of squint to see it--we're pretty sure it's there. It's not easy running this race." - Steve Taylor

Once upon an average morn
An average boy was born for the second time
Prone upon the altar there
He whispered up the prayer he'd kept hid inside
The vision came
He saw the odds
A hundred little gods on a gilded wheel
"These will vie to take your place, but Father,by your grace I wil never kneel"

And I saw you, upright and proud
And I saw you wave to the crowd
And I saw you laughing out loud at the Philistines
And I saw you brush away rocks
And I saw you pull up your socks
And I saw you out of the blocks
For the finish line

Darkness falls
The devil stirs
And as your vision blurs you start stumbling
The heart is weak
The will is gone
And every strong conviction comes tumbling down
Malice rains
The acid guile is sucking at your shoes while the mud is fresh
It floods the trail
It bleeds you dry
As every little god buys its pound of flesh

And I saw you licking your wounds
And I saw you weave your cocoons
And I saw you changing your tunes for the party line
And I saw you welsh on old debts
I saw you and your comrades bum cigarettes
And you hemmed and you hawed
And you hedged all your bets
Waiting for a sign

Let's wash our hands as we throw little fits
Let's all wash our hands as we curse hypocrites
We're locked in the washroom turning old tricks
DeafAnd joyless
And full of it

The vision came
He saw the odds
A hundred little gods on a gilded wheel
"These have tried to take your place, but Father,by your grace I will never kneel
I will never kneel..."

Off in the distance
Bloodied but wise
As you squint with the light of the truth in your eyes
And I saw you
Both hands were raised
And I saw your lips move in praise
And I saw you steady your gaze
For the finish line
Every idol like dust
A word scattered them all
And I rose to my feet when you scaled the last wall
And I gasped
When I saw you fall
In his arms
At the finish line

written by Steve Taylor
Copyright © 1993 Soylent Tunes (ASCAP)

2 comments:

John said...

I always loved that song! I don't have that CD anymore...or maybe I never had it. Can't remember now... Anyway, that and "The Cash Cow Lurks!" are two of my very fav Steve Taylor tunes. I love the artwork you sent. It is very touching and beautiful. Love you, brother. Ashley says hi...

Joseph Botwinick said...

Marty,

That is one of my favorite songs. Thanks for sharing it.

Joseph