Saturday, December 06, 2014

All ’Round Me Burdens . . .

. . . seem to fall.

I’m not worried at all.

This evening for “music night” I share “I’m Not Worried At All,” one of my favorite tracks from Moby’s 2002 album 18.

In the album’s liner notes the vocals for this track are credited to the Shining Light Gospel Choir, but they’re actually provided by Charles Banks of the early 1960s duo The Banks Brothers (right). Indeed, both “I’m Not Worried at All” and Moby’s 1999 song “Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad” directly sample the lyrics of The Banks Brother’s song “He’ll Roll Your Burdens Away,” from their 1963 self-titled album recorded with the Greater Harvest Baptist Church Back Home Choir. Why Moby doesn’t provide this information but instead credits the vocals to the “Shining Light Gospel Choir” is rather perplexing.

That being said, I must say I try to embody as best I can the title and message of “I’m Not Worried at All.” I see this song as another way of expressing Jesus’s directive to be like the wild flowers and the birds and not worry . . . and his invitation to “Be not afraid.”

I say try as it’s definitely not always easy. In my personal life, for instance, I find myself confronted with concerns about my financial situation, uncertainty about my path and future, and an often debilitating feeling of having “missed the boat” regarding finding someone with whom I can cultivate a romantic relationship. I suppose you could call such things “worries.” They can certainly at times threaten to overwhelm me and leave me feeling dejected. Yet I know that just my longing for God’s transforming love in my life is itself a connection with God, and that this and other ways of being mindfully united with the sacred presence both within and beyond me can and does encourage me to embody, not worry, but love, thus putting things in perspective. All ’round me burdens seem to fall. The key word here is “seem.” After all, those personal issues or “burdens” mentioned above may remain unchanged . . . but I can change in how I perceive them. They no longer have power and control over my life, my spirit.

Now about the opening image of this post . . . Beautiful, isn’t it? I chose it because I appreciate (among other things) the message of the tattoo across the man’s chest: “A heart full of hope can’t fear.”

I think having hope and compassion for oneself and others helps us not to worry, not to be afraid. It’s all part of the journey of being open to God’s transforming presence within and around us; an awareness of and relationship with the Divine that liberates us from being enslaved to all that we experience as burdensome. . . . Yes, All ’round me burdens seem to fall.

And sometimes, as the song reminds us, we need to first pray and take care just of ourselves before we can be of genuine help to others. It’s a truth that’s related to that wise and beautiful saying of the Buddha: “If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”

I especially send this song out this evening to my friend Gail, my friend Alton, and to all who are going through difficult times – times and situations that often tempt as to be worried, fearful, and/or unmindful of God’s transforming presence and the need for self-care.

All ’round me burdens
seem to fall.
I’m not worried at all.
I’m not worried at all.

I don’t worry all day long.

Tho I’m not able,
I just cannot see.
He told me to pray
just for me.

All ’round me burdens
seem to fall.
I’m not worried at all.
I’m not worried at all.

See also the related Wild Reed posts:
The Source is Within You
Michael Morwood on the Divine Presence (Part I)
Michael Morwood on the Divine Presence (Part II)
Michael Morwood on the Divine Presence (Part III)
Prayer and the Experience of God in an Ever-Unfolding Universe
Karl Rahner on the Need for Prayer
“Then I Shall Leap Into Love”
As the Last Walls Dissolve . . . Everything is Possible
Prayer of the Week – November 24, 2014
The Most Sacred and Simple Mystery of All

Opening Image: Subject and photographer unknown.

1 comment:

Franco Manni said...

helpful meditation! thank you