I keep trying to find a light
On my own, apart from you
I am the king of excuses
I’ve got one for every selfish thing I do
What’s going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That I’m still a man in need of a savior
I wanna be in the Light as you are in the Light
I wanna shine like this stars in the heavens
O, Lord, be my Light, and be my salvation
‘Cause all I want is to be in the Light
All I want is to be in the Light
The diseases of self consumes my blood
It’s a cancer fatal to my soul
Every attempt on my behalf has failed
To bring this sickness under control
Honesty becomes me
There’s nothing left to lose
All those things that did run me
In your presence are diffused
Pride has no position
The fame that once did cover me
Has been sentenced to this earth
Dear God, the year was 1995. I was 25 years old, naïve and impressionable. Oh, if I had known then what I know now. But, as my grandmother once told my mother, you can’t put an old head on young shoulders. I was working for a Christian music publisher called Word. I was fortunate enough to be the editor of their Christian music record club. I remember the day I received the demo of this CD from the record company so that I would consider featuring it in the club. I loved it. I remember the vice president of the division walking by my desk while I was playing the album, and I told him, “This is the next platinum record in Christian music.” Now, that wasn’t really going out on a limb. It’s a little like saying the Yankees have a shot at the playoffs at the beginning of the baseball season—it was almost a given.
But I remember putting this song, in particular, on a tape and driving down LBJ Freeway in Dallas, where I lived at the time, and giving it the full range of my Mazda 626’s radio’s ability. Promise Keepers was coming to Dallas and I was picking my dad up at the airport. I blasted the song on the way to the airport and then I played it for him as I left the airport. I loved it. I loved the words. I loved the musical style. I loved the humility and the songwriter’s willingness to repent. Repentance is a beautiful thing. (Click here for a link to a youtube version of the song)
So here are some thoughts about “In the Light,” which was written and performed originally by Charlie Peacock and released in 1995 by DC Talk.
• I really do have excuses for the selfish things I do. They usually revolve around me having been wronged by someone else in some way. I justify them by saying to myself, “Well, I wouldn’t normally do this, but since I am suffering in this way then I deserve to have my way here.” But the truth behind it is that I am simply trying to find a “light” on my own and apart from you.
• I cannot imagine what it will be like to not have the disease of self in me anymore. I know that there are those who would say that I already have the victory in Jesus and I have all I need. And I understand that, and I am glad that the cancer is being managed, but the truth is, this cancer of self will not completely be purged until I cross over to the other side. Much like my mother-in-law’s cancer was not purged from her until after her death, this cancer of self is simply a part of who I am here.
• Obviously, the first part of the chorus is a play on what Paul said about doing the things he didn’t want to do. But then my favorite part of the whole song is right here: “This only serves to confirm my suspicions—that I’m still a man in need of a savior.”
• Sweet Jesus, I need you to be my light because I have no light on my own. I need you to be my salvation. All I want is to be in your light.