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Dec 29

Passion Ignited

Posted on Tuesday, December 29, 2009 in Uncategorized

Today when asked to describe me in one word Jocelyn “Jozey” Wichterman described me as passionate. While I humbly smirked when I read it, she’s right, I am passionate.

Yesterday’s tragic death of Avenged Sevenfold’s drummer The Rev [James Owen Sullivan] drives my passion into a flame.

Chains

Several years ago while having lunch with Heather Crimmins she introduced me to Avenged Sevenfold. Over the years I realized that Avenged Sevenfold’s lyrics spoke to people; they touched wounded souls:

“Tormented young with no souls, haunting me
Pain in their lives all they know is misery
Take these chains away that are holding me down” [Eternal Rest]

We all have chains that hold us down. You have yours, I have mine. The Rev had his. When Jessie Dexter read the news report of The Rev’s death she responded, “how do you die of natural causes that young? That sounds unnatural to me.”

I smirked sadly when I read “natural causes.”

Causes

Reportedly The Rev had a long history of cocaine and alcohol abuse; “natural” products that do not by nature belong in a human body. They attack the body’s normal functions. I don’t know the cause of his death, but I imagine that he had done some damage.

I know he was looking for a change, “tear down this steadfast wall, restraints are useless here, tasting salvation’s near.” [Unholy Confessions]

While he may not have meant eternal salvation — a change in destiny — he was looking for change.

Changes & Choices

Sadly, death may not have been the change he wanted. Whether his death was preventable or not, we each make choices that help or harm ourselves.

Each day we make choices. Choices we alone are responsible for:

“I’ve been thinking lots about my life and
How quick I’d wash it down the drain
Past tense the future, nothing matters now
I act on my own and I’m to blame” [Demons]

Consequences & Circumstances

And it’s these choices that leave us with consequences.  We’re surprised with the results of our choices; sometimes we never anticipate the ramifications:

“I see my world crumble and fall, before my eyes…
I never imagined my life could turn out this way…” [And All Things Will End]

As a hopeless seventeen year old, yes, “I never imagined my life could turn out this way.” Now thirty years later I can barely understand how much better my life has become, and again, with certainty I can say, “I never imagined my life could turn out this way.”

While many factors in life are circumstantial, I hope that this tragedy will prompt The Rev’s fans reconsider their own choices. I hope more people will safeguard their lives.

I hope that rather than accept the hopelessness, “there is no hope”, or the blindness, “darkened eyes you’ll see”, each of us will pursue positive changes while there is still time. [Desecrate Through Reverence]

Challenges

Perhaps you’re like me. While there are challenges and frustrations, life is better than you expected it would be. When things are good it’s an opportunity to look around, to look around and listen. To listen for the voices crying out around us:

“Finally, together we were destined, I know what’s best for us in the end

Someone hear me, someone stop me, someone listen, why aren’t you listening?” [Betrayed]

“Why aren’t you listening?”

It’s a question for the strong and a question for the weak.

Compassion

Compassionately the Bible challenges us to “Help those who are weak” and to “be patient with everyone.”

To the strong: I call you out. Get up, get out, listen, and love and lift up the weak and the wounded.
To the weak: I call you out. Call out, speak up, trust, and love and be lifted up.

Those who are weak will need the strong. No one needs to stay weak and unheard.
Those who are strong will one day need those who are strengthened.
No one can stay strong all the time, life is too hard.

And it’s for The Rev’s loved ones; we feel compassion. And, if you pray, pray for The Rev’s family, friends and fans:

“Dear God the only thing I ask of you is
to hold her when I’m not around,
when I’m much too far away
We all need the person who can be true to you” [Dear God]

They need compassion.

Confession

Maybe as you read this you feel heavy.
Perhaps your weight, is a spiritual weight, you know you need to confess your sins. You’ve done wrong:

“Dust the apple off, savor each bite
And deep inside you know Adam was right
lust and power, indulgence, no fear
Left with his sins, how does this end?” [The Wicked End]

If that’s how you feel, find a trustworthy friend. Find someone who will care. If you don’t think you can find someone, reach out to me. I’ll help you find one.  I cannot carry you forever, but I’ll carry you for a while.

“Loved ones back home all crying ’cause they’re already missing me
I pray by the grace of God that there’s somebody listening
Give me a chance to be that person I wanna be…
Oh Lord I’ll try so hard but you gotta let go of me
Unbreak me, unchain me, I need another chance to live” [Afterlife]

The chance to live is a privilege. Let’s live it together to the full.

“Cause everybody’s gotta die sometime, we fell apart
Let’s make a new start
‘Cause everybody’s gotta die sometime yeah” [A Little Piece Of Heaven]

While we’re living, let’s commit to live; live with and for one another.

Note – All lyrics quoted from Lyricsmania

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