A Sermon for DaySpring Baptist Church
By Burt L. Burleson
“Get Out of Your Head, a Poem to Myself”
For the fourth Sunday in Advent
Luke 2: 39-56
December 24, 2006
You are too much in your head. You are, admit it.
Thinking about thinking and you just can’t quit it.
You think you can know… from your mind, from critique?
Know from analysis where there is no mystique?
You’ve got to get out of your head.
Especially now, in this time of year…
You’re got to break free… Christmas is here.
It’s what you most want, it’s what you wish for,
That you could sing like Mary and have your heart soar.
That your soul could magnify and your spirit celebrate.
Because you’re filled up with wonder so great.
But… you’ll have to get out of your head.
Because you know how you are… how you always have been.
You can’t seem to help it… it’s the way that you tend.
It’s a Scrooge like thing… It’s a Christmas steeling Grinch.
Making a cold winters’ night in the soul, that’s a cinch.
There’s a cynical voice saying, “You’d better find the key.”
“Make sense of it all? How can this be?”
Your so stuck in your head.
And when the voice asks you’ll go down the mind’s ladder,
Into that gray place, into the gray matter.
Where you’ll think and think that thinking’s your art.
There where you think rather than ponder in your heart
You’re in your head… you’ve gone there again.
I suppose, you can’t help it… can’t stop that ole’ mind…
It’s just in you, for sure, look inside and you’ll find….
Some instinct to say “Why and how come?”
An instinct in you, that can’t be undone.
It’s the condition of your condition. It’s the illusion of your intellect.
It’s a modern mess, a gamey game.
That someday you’ll pluck, right out of the air,
some piece of the puzzle to make it all clear.
You’ll read the right book and think the right thing
You’ll unwrap the mystery and then… finally… you’ll sing.
But you can’t… and you know it… but still you will try.
Examining … not living.
Critiquing… not giving.
You’ll state your hypothesis… you’ll test your theory.
You’ll think and debate and query ‘till your weary.
But you’ll only do that with that small, little mind.
Which is too small to know, that it’s too small to find.
You know what it’s like, that little bitty mind?
As it presumes to know truth and questions the Divine.
Why, it’s like a beetle staring at you, thinking he can understand.
Or like a blind man on a beach who’s counting the sand.
It’s really much worse, more silly and sad
It’s arrogant and haughty and down right mad.
It’s like a seed who presumptuously says from inside
What the apple is like in which it abides. (a Church Father image)
Please, please get out of your head. Get out of your mind.
Yes it’s a gift for sure, it’s one of a kind.
But you haven’t confessed that it’s not such a star…
And curses are just blessings taken to far.
So rather than living in some deep surrender,
You trust in your thinking hoping to render…
A notion, a concept, a doctrine, a plan
All idols of yours, held tight in your hand.
Your critiques and questions have become golden calves
Easily molded from concepts you have.
Get out of your head. God… is not a concept.
God is not handled! God is not tamed.
God is not grasped or reduced to a name.
And not finally known by that small mind of yours.
You’re stuck in your head, you are, for sure.
There is a way out… there is a way on.
There’s another kind of knowing, to which we are drawn.
Where we know… but know as we always been known,
Beyond all the thinking that we think is our own.
It’s a knowing that finds us and lifts us and leads us.
A knowing that loves us and sees us and frees us.
But a knowing that is out of your head.
Shouldn’t you get out of your head? Wouldn’t you?
Will you? Won’t you?
Can’t you? Can you?
Can you be like Mary and begin with wonder?
Can you kneel in prayer and in your heart, ponder?
In awe and excitement, in worship and in play
Can you get out of your head and follow her way.
Into surrender and on into singing.
Present to life and a heart that is ringing.
Can you be now and not back then?
Can you be now, not in some when?
It’s time to get out of your head.
That your soul might magnify and your heart might rejoice.
As you reverence a mystery and lift up your voice.
You must! You will! You can!
Amen and amen and amen!
Copyright, Burt L. Burleson, 2006