Today, I bring you lyrics from a timeless classic written by Gregory Camp. This song is so full of joy, hope, and get up and go that I can’t help but smile every time I hear it.
That’s right. Today’s song lyrics are taken from the 1999 hit, “All Star” by Smash Mouth.
Somebody once asked could I spare some change for gas?
I need to get myself away from this place
I said yep what a concept
I could use a little fuel myself
And we could all use a little change
Well, the years start coming and they don’t stop coming
Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running
Didn’t make sense not to live for fun
Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb
So much to do, so much to see
So what’s wrong with taking the back streets?
You’ll never know if you don’t go (go!)
You’ll never shine if you don’t glow
Hey now, you’re an all-star, get your game on, go play
Hey now, you’re a rock star, get the show on, get paid
And all that glitters is gold
Only shooting stars break the mold
And I promise this has a point. I’m in youth minister mode tonight, so sometimes you need a good hook to get the kids interested. Smash Mouth is always a good option.
I have always struggled with change. Any kind of change. Good, bad, necessary. Whatever the change was, I dug my heals in and tried my hardest not to budge.
Pro tip: that doesn’t work.
We are constantly changing, growing, forming new ideas, learning new things. If we are lucky, we experience the world in a new way every single day.
I recently wrote this down. I didn’t think I would share it, but here it is. This blog post was going to be titled “For the Times, They Are A Changin'” but I didn’t post it. It was written on March 30th, just 4 days ago.
It is almost April 1st. Here is a short list of things that have changed in my life since October 1st (six months ago) in chronological order-ish.
- Bought a new car.
- Quit my career as a youth minister in the United Methodist Church.
- Became a Teaching Assistant in Special Education.
- Started a blog.
- Began pursing teaching certifications (which has been way more difficult than it should be).
- The anniversary of Dad’s cancer diagnosis and treatments.
- My brother got married and I got a sister in law!
- Six months of fertility treatment, six months of negative pregnancy tests.
- IUI procedure… doesn’t take.
- My OBGYN told me that I am a higher needs case than she can handle and referred me to a specialist.
- Met said specialist and we’ve decided to begin treatments asap.
- James began Paramedic school.
- Began attending Servant Church.
- Celebrated four years of marriage with James.
- Madison and Kelsey moved in next door!
- Met a whole bunch of new friends.
- Registered for two certification tests.
- Lost our sweet cat.
- Accepted into the level 4 ASL classes at ACC.
- Officially began fertility treatments that include giving myself SHOTS in the stomach.
Y’all. That is a whole bunch of changes in a short amount of time.
Smash Mouth isn’t the only one who tells us that we could all use a little change. Ecclesiastes promises us that life will change. Because life is made up of seasons. God tells us the following in Isaiah 43:
Look! I’m doing a new thing;
now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it?
I’m making a way in the desert,
paths in the wilderness.
God knows that it is good for us to change, and sometimes it is especially good for us to change when we really don’t want to. Eight months ago I never thought my life would be what it is now. I thought I would still be in youth ministry, doing my church ministry thing with an office and a bunch of teenagers hanging around me. I thought we would get pregnant with the help of a little medication. I never would have considered starting a blog. I wouldn’t have attended women’s marches and immigration reform demonstrations. I am a different person now than I was just 8 months ago.
And that’s kind of awesome.
Let’s take a look, just for a second, at the story of Shrek. Yeah, that Shrek, in which the song All Star is heavily featured.
Shrek is living his best life; chilling in a swamp, doing whatever he wants, having a ridiculous Scottish accent, when suddenly his life is completely flip turned upside down (cultural references are on FIRE tonight) and a talking donkey appears in his home. Shrek, being incredibly set in his ways as the my swamp loner, refuses to accept this ridiculous gift of a friend. This donkey sets Shrek’s life on a completely new trajectory, despite his constant struggle against the flow. While Shrek is a hilarious take on the classic “Hero’s Tale,” I choose to take away the story of the anti-hero, the one who was thrust into a situation by life’s ridiculous twists and turns, and despite his reluctance, accepts his reality and lives into it by finding joy, hope, and true love.
Change can be scary. Change can be terrifying, actually, but we don’t have to let it overwhelm us. Embrace the change. Go with the flow instead of trying to fight against it. See where you end up and enjoy the ride. Break the mold of your life and find ways to enjoy the way life is constantly changing all around you.
Because at the end of the day, you’ll never know if you don’t go, and you’ll never shine if you don’t glow.