Monday, February 2, 2015

#82 TRADING MY SORROWS - Darrell Evans

One thing I enjoy about doing this blog is that I learn so much about the songs and the artists as I prepare for each blog post. I'll be honest, I didn't really know much about Darrell Evans before, I thought he might be the same guy who hit 40+ HRs for the Atlanta Braves in 1973 - you know, and after his playing days in baseball he just went on to leading worship - a pretty natural transition.

Actually, I've never purchased a Darrell Evans CD. I knew he did Let The River Flow, and of course this one, song #82 on our countdown, Trading My Sorrows; but beyond that I just assumed he had retired. Turns out Darrell has a pretty good collection of songs to his credit - songs I have and songs I like, but songs I didn't know were his.

I did not know that Darrell Evans sang Freedom ("Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Freedom"), and the infinitely cool Fields of Grace. He also wrote and sang a song I've had for 15 years, but didn't know who did it - We Will Embrace Your Move, I've listened to this one on my iPod forever, but never knew it was Darrell Evans until I found out while doing my 20th Century Worship video which you can find on this post, 20th Century Worship.

And finally, who remembers the awesome first album by Casting Crowns? Well, if you recall, the last song on the album is a very nice, mellow album-closer entitled Your Love is Extravagant. Anyone want to guess who originally wrote that song? That's right, it was Chris Tomlin. No, I kid, I kid. This was also written and sung originally by the suddenly very prolific Darrell Evans, who I've gained new appreciation for since starting to write this post.

Unlike most of the other songs I've mentioned, I was never a big fan of the song, Trading My Sorrows. It definitely falls into the category of "Songs I Think Other People Really Like, So It Should Go On The List, But I'm Not Really That Big A Fan Of." Of course, if you have category names that are that long, you're never going to be able to categorize stuff on Excel. I mean, in Excel they only give you a few inches, and yea, you can expand the column size, but then it makes the rest of your spreadsheet look all scrunched up. I'm sure most of you know what I'm getting at here. Wow, I sort of just took the exit ramp off I-80 and just kept going on that one, didn't I?

See, that would be a TERRIBLE name for a category, and mess up your whole spreadsheet.
I think for me the main reason I was never a big fan of the Trading My Sorrows is the logic of it - see if you can follow along. You see, all during the song, Evans talks about trading some really crappy stuff for some really good stuff. He's trading his sorrow, his sickness, his pain, etc. for the joy of the Lord. To me, that's like, "DUH". I mean, who wouldn't make that trade? It's like, "Hey, God, I'm willing to give you my irritable bowel syndrome for some joy and peace - Deal?". 

No, if he wanted to be super spiritual, he would have sang something like, "I'm trading my brand new Lamborghini for a beat up 2007 red Ford Focus - and, of course, the joy of the Lord". OK, enough of that foolishness, I get it, I really do - I was just doing a bit trying to amuse myself and up the word count. Actually, doing this blog post has made me like the song a little bit better.

Another thing I'm starting to appreciate more about this song is in another lyric from the song: "Though the sorrow may last for the night, His joy comes with the morning", which builds up and leads right to the chorus. That one verse - Psalms 30:5 - sort of encapsulates what is supposed to be a bittersweet promise for the whole Christian life. Unfortunately for us, we don't really know what 'night' means in that verse. It could be a day, but it also could be decades, or even our entire life, with the morning representing heaven, as Paul alluded to. 

And here's one more thing my super-spriritually tuned mind just gleamed from this song. There's another part in there that we all love to sing:

Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes Yes Lord, Amen.

I think that verse is supposed to convey agreement with God. I also think the 'Amen' is meant to give a certain finality to our agreement with God. I said 'Amen', and that means I agree and it's over and that's that. This is important because I think that many times we (ok, me), sort of live our lives as if we are metaphorically singing the verse like this:

Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes Yes Lord, But...

I think we (me) want to think of ourselves as people who are in total agreement with God, but what we really want to do is find some justification to get out of the consequences that will follow from that agreement. Something to think about, for sure. Cue the music.

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