Saturday, March 15, 2008

All I Ever Have to Be

My friend Amy over at Signs, Miracles, & Wonders has started a new carnival on Saturdays dealing with the songs that inspire us. Here is my contribution for today.

Do you ever feel the pressure to be more, do more? Society today sends the message that whatever we're doing, we could be doing more. There are so many options available to us today that even if we are frantically running from here to there, there is always another activity that we just can't get to. We then feel guilty that we can't do everything. Even worse, self-improvement books send the message that we should always strive to be better. The Army's popular slogan to "Be all that you can be" is often twisted by the world to "Be
more than you can be."

Now, I have never been a fan of complacency, but our culture points toward personal ambition rather than the true aim of bettering ourselves: becoming more Christlike. Unfortunately, this struggling to be more, this dissatisfaction with who I am, compared to others, has dogged me throughout my life. Thankfully, God has sent a song to me to remind me that I never have to be more than who God has made me to be: "All I Ever Have to Be" by Amy Grant.

I was first introduced to this song at a church luncheon for my graduating class from high school(Yes, back in the 80s!). My English teacher and Teacher Cadet teacher, Joanne Merck, who had also taught a Bible study for us teens, played the song for us. Joanne later became a mentor for me in my teaching career and adult Bible studies. I'm proud to call her a friend today.

Here are the lyrics to the song:
"All I Ever Have to Be"

When the weight of all my dreams
Is resting heavy on my head,
And the thoughtful words of help and hope
Have all been nicely said.

But I'm still hurting,
Wondering if I'll ever be
The one I think I am.

I think I am.

Then You gently re-remind me
That You've made me from the first,
And the more I try to be the best,
The more I get the worst.

And I realize the good in me,
Is only there because of Who You are.

Who You are...

And all I ever have to be
Is what You've made me.
Any more or less would be a step
Out of your plan.

As You daily recreate me,
Help me always keep in mind
That I only have to do
What I can find.

And all I ever have to be
All I have to be
All I ever have to be
Is what You've made me.

I try to remind myself of two lines from this song whenever I catch myself trying to measure up to the world's standards. "The more I try to be the best, the more I get the worst" shows me that when I strive to live up to (or exceed) other people's expectations, I am going to be living for this world. I am making myself worse according to God's standards.

The other line that means a great deal to me in this song is "Any more or less would be a step out of Your plan." This line reminds me of Psalm 139:14 and that God has made me just as I am for a reason. All of my personality quirks, talents, and experiences work together for God's purpose.

If you get a chance to listen to this oldie but goodie, I believe it will bless you. It certainly has blessed me.


Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...


It's one I haven't thought of it in years! Thank you for posting these lyrics! They are so powerful!


Ceci said...

I love this song! They should make a "christian" version of the movie "High Fidelity" of my life, and this would definitely be one of the songs that define the journey to who I am.

Many people have written Amy off because of her divorce and remarriage, but I can't help looking at her, her songwriting, and the number of lives she touched and still stand in awe. Sure, she made mistakes along the way, but she was still faithful at a young age to be an instrument of God.

Thanks for sharing, and for stopping by my place!

Anonymous said...

what a neat song...thanks for sharing your heart :o)

Carol said...

Great song! Thanks for sharing it!

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Those are great lyrics! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

That song is from way back. I was listening to that song before I was 10! I have been an Amy fan my whole life. Even met her a couple of times! That is a great song and the lyrics are heartfelt!

Thanks for the memories!

Earthmommy said...

I love that song! I just found this meme for the first time today on your blog and have so enjoyed it!

Cheri said...

I'm not sure if I've heard this song before? I can definitely identify with your story though.

Thank you for sharing your heart!!

kmom3 said...

What a great song!
I need to be comfortable with who He made me to be. What a great reminder that I don't need to try to fit the world's mold.
Thanks for sharing this song! Isn't this meme fun?