This sonnet is loosely based upon Psalm 120. Eugene Peterson in his book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, notes that the one often begins the pilgrimage of discipleship in response to being thoroughly disgusted with the way things are. He writes,
“A person has to be thoroughly disgusted with the way things are to find the motivation to set out on the Christian way. As long as we think the next election might eliminate crime and establish justice or another scientific breakthrough might save the environment or another pay raise might push us over the edge of anxiety into a life of tranquillity, we are not likely to risk the arduous uncertainties of the life of faith. A person has to get fed up with the ways of the world before he, before she, acquires an appetite for the world of grace.” -Eugene Peterson
I tried to capture the place in which one who is disgusted has the opportunity to repent, but because of the cost of effort and forsaking seems so great, they instead turn back again to their optimistic hope that their chances for success and fullness on their own terms will be better tomorrow.
You may listen to me read the sonnet via the player below.
I didn’t slide in here on a rainbow,
Didn’t arrive in a new Cadillac,
Not basking in vict’ry’s afterglow,
But hanging from my rope’s end, no way back.
Caught in these straits between death and doom,
I sue for peace, they only make war;
I want the truth, to see justice bloom,
They lie through smiles while fixing the score.
Am I yet sick and tired of being sick and tired?
Will I own every step I’ve taken here?
Will I get up, chose, do what’s required?
Own the shame? Submit? Listen? Hear?
A nap’s what I need, just a little vacation
I’ll kill it tomorrow, win this crowd’s adoration.
© Randy Edwards 2017