In 1977 a friend and I would hang out and do different things together. He had a car with an 8-track and we listened to a variety of his albums. Probably our all time favorite was by the Guess Who and it was called Power in the Music. We listened to that 8 track so much it was ridiculous. Burton Cummings was the lead singer of the group and at that time he had gone solo. The Power in the Music album had come out in 1975 when Burton was still with the Guess Who. In the time that followed I have most if not all of the Guess Who albums when he was in the band. I also have all of his solo albums. As you can probably tell I liked his songs and the way he could express his words. I also loved the way he could play the piano and how he could make that piano rock and my foot tap! Burton was not a Christian singer, far from it. He played rock and roll with a beat that we just liked!
A song that hits me as one of the most spiritual, truthful, and humbling songs that I have ever heard came from a surprising source. It was a song that Burton put on his first album in 1977 called “I’m Scared.” You might wonder why I would choose this song as one of the most spiritual and moving songs I have ever heard? I think part of the answer comes from the source. It was a Christian song from unusual circumstances. You see Burton Cummings was not a Christian. He was in the searching phase trying to find his way. He didn’t really even realize he was missing anything being that he was highly successful. The story goes that Burton was in New York City one day and it was cold. He found warmth in a church and the choir was singing. Somehow in this unusual setting something stirred in his heart. The words are real as he examines his own emptiness and his own confusion. The songs that touch my heart are not necessarily a popular spiritual leader singing a song they sing hundreds of times. In this case it was an experience of someone who was not thinking about God at all until he entered that church. The song shows that God can meet us where we are and accepts us as we are. Some of the lyrics follow:
Living in confusion
Searching for truth that I never found
I needed something to really believe
Looked toward the heavens
on a dark and stormy winter afternoon
something in the air was oh so rare
I’m not really sure what it was
but I know for sure that it’s still right there
Lord I’m scared I’m shaking, I’m terrified
Never been much on religion
But I sure enough just fell down on my knees
Lord I’m scared, I’m laying awake thinking about it now
I’m terrified, Never been much on religion but I
sure enough would like to hear the call.
Come on now give me a sign your listening to me
You hear me talking, You see me crying
it’s confusing to me Lord I’m terrified
Never been much on religion
but I sure enough fell down on my knees.
Just writing the words still brings tears to my eyes! This song exemplifies to
me where we all are or were. At some point we look around us. We realize that
whatever we considered important isn’t that important. We come to the realization
that there is something much bigger than our little world we live in. The amazing
thing about this song is the person who God used to share it with us! Maybe the words he used “never been much on religion” is the key to how he expresses it! Sometimes it is the person who has lived the high life and who knows they have came across something different that we need to hear. It is fresh like bread straight out of the oven! It speaks to us not from a spiritual saint, but from an ordinary person who is seeking answers. Spoken with true feeling of a person who discovers that he is scared. Jesus knows that there are times we are afraid. He told us to fear not, for I am with you always even unto the end of the world. Yet when we comprehend the awesomeness of God and the humbleness of the lyrics it is really moving. Never been much on religion but I sure enough just fell down on my knees!