My favorite part of flying in and out of the Nashville Airport is the live music. It seems that no matter when your flight lands you walk out of the secured area (following the carpet that has its own Instagram account) towards a small stage and into this welcoming world of music. The music is usually being performed by a small combo or solo artist—often country—but who doesn’t love a few good country covers to lift your mood and put a jump in your step? As I watch passengers this afternoon in the concourse heading towards the exits I notice that some smile, others stare, many unknowingly switch the cadence of their gait to match the rhythm of the song. “I’m walkin’ in Memphis . . .”  The TSA agent sitting a few feet from me is actually chewing to the beat. Thanks for the music, Joe West. I hope I remember to throw a few bucks in your guitar case. You deserve it.

(Side note: Joe and the boys just broke into “I Want to Make it With You” by Bread. I love all 70s music but Bread is just a little too real. Who’s with me on this?)

Today I am departing from Nashville home to South Dakota. The song I heard wafting towards the ticket counter was the familiar tune of “Take it Easy” by the Eagles. What a great song. It was released in 1972—I was twelve. I probably first heard “Take it Easy” on my round red Panasonic radio tuned to 1230 KISD. I could carry that radio on its long silver chain all over the farm. The original WiFi.

The lyrics that caught my ear today were:

Take it easy, take it easy

Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy 

Lighten up while you still can

Don’t even try to understand

As I described in one of my first posts, the reason I named this blog “Made With Words” is because I believe we are all made with words. The ancient Greeks believed that words went right from your ears to your heart. What’s in your ear today that is landing in your heart? What did you hear this morning when you first woke up? It may have been your child or your spouse’s voice—stating what they need right now from you or rather something amazing like, “I love you.” Maybe you’re hearing the political news. I woke up with the sound of my just ended dream/nightmare in my ear. It was my daughter Julia’s wedding day—truly coming up on May 4th— and apparently the ONLY thing we had purchased was the wedding gown. Yikes!

Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy . . .

I’ve warned you before that I love theology and especially the theology of Martin Luther. It helps me understand how faith works in my life. Although his teachings and sermons were delivered 500 years ago, they give me a relevant understanding of the power of words today. He wrote, “The kingdom of Christ is founded on the Word, which cannot be perceived and comprehended except with these two organs, ears and tongue.” Martin Luthers Werke, Vol. 10/I.2 (Weimar: Bohlau, 1883), 1–5.

Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy . . .

Luther scholar, Steve Paulson, in his handy guide, Luther for the Armchair Theologian, describes the sound of our own wheels. It’s that voice that rears its ugly head causing anxiety, fear, and doubt that makes us curl up into a ball of self-preservation. That sound may be the external voice of a family member or coworker or it may be your own internal voice—loud and clear, droning, and on high volume. Anyone else live in their head? (insert hand raising emoji here) The original ear wig—only not as pleasant as your favorite 70s song.

There are stacks of self-help guides in any airport bookstore with the goal of calming your inner voice or making it louder and more positive. As a nurse I can rattle off many of them—deep breathing, setting short term goals, exercise, “I” statements, and so on. These often rely on mustering your own strength and discipline. Luther has another strategy to add to the top of the list. He would say what is needed is the voice of a preacher. A preacher who has the keys to unlock a peace that passes all understanding. Because of the priesthood of all believers we are all equipped to be preachers. It doesn’t mean it’s our occupation, it’s just being a good neighbor. You might preach to your boyfriend or to your daughter or to a stranger. Get out of your head and you’ll be free to help someone else get out of there’s. What words would Luther say one needs to hear from a preacher? The words from Jesus Christ himself. Words that are full of forgiveness and affirmation. The gospel.

Paulson channels Luther in this pithy quote: “The Holy Spirit sends a preacher to you with words that fit—words that you could never have come up with no matter how long you stared at your navel.” Paulson, p.18. Any navel gazers out there? 

Here’s a few promises from Christ that should block out the sound of your own wheels. Give them a try and share them with people who may need peace today—the words may even cause an uncurling of their posture and a fresh jump in their step.

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.   Matthew 6:31-34

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”   John 16:33

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

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PS: Lighten up while you still can. Don’t even try to understand. 

“Take It Easy” The Eagles 1972

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2 thoughts on “Take it Easy

  1. This is beautifully written, as always, Becky. Almost makes me want to go to Nashville just to get the ambiance of the airport terminal. What a delightful surprise!
    I, too, appreciate Martin Luther and his sage words. He relied on scripture as we must today to get God’s truth for the world in which we live, no matter what the century. The Bible is our only source of hope, of peace, of God’s eternal grace.

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