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The Optimist Manifesto

from Identity by madcrasher

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This is actually the second version of the song. The first version was a solid seven minutes with no fluff and was basically a straw man argument against atheistic pessimism. Then Dustin Salter, my RUF minister for all of three months, was in a freak bicycle accident not three days after preaching about Providence and the sovereignty of God. This version is my attempt to get past the question of "How could God let something like this happen?"


How can I claim hope when there's none to give
How can I claim peace when it's hard to live like this
I can't hold on to the things that I knew
But I don't have a clue what else to do
Circumstances are clearly not the best
I'm paralyzed but not at rest
Praying for divine relief
Before my unbelief takes over...

Misconceptions of how the world aught to be
Like I'm not the ruler of all that I see
As much as I'd like to control everything
It's impossible for a mortal being like myself
I wake up one day
Suddenly nothing around is going my way
Before long my worries double
And begin to burst my security bubble
Wake up, my best friend won't talk to me
Find out, he's not simple like I want him to be
Wake up, teacher picks on a friend I know
Find out, his pedestal is actually quite low
Wake up, two towers fallen down to the ground
Faith in my country's nowhere to be found
Wake up, mom and I don't see eye to eye
I've outgrown the nest, need to learn to fly
Wake up, assignments are harder than I thought
Find out infallible is something I'm not
Wake up, friend won't take what I hold dear
Find out not all who have ears will hear
Wake up, a man of God, respected by all
Went out for a bike ride, had a nasty fall
His mind's gone, and we don't know if it'll come back
Tell me, what can I say to that?

Times like this I wonder if it's all just an act
Motions I go through, pretend I'm back in some
Idealistic state of mind
An excuse to leave the world behind
And put off the inevitable discovery:
That life is all that I fear it could be
No trust, no God, there's just myself
And what little I can do to maintain my health
Watch my own back 'cause no one else will
Eat and drink until I've had my fill
Be sure to grab the big share of the pie
Keep my wits about and quit watching the sky
My life so far's just been following a lie
A sadistic game played until we die
And all that's left for me is...

I can't do it.
There's no way that I
Could ever believe that this is all just a lie
Maybe I'm too brainwashed, indoctrinated
Or maybe it's that God loves when He's hated
Maybe I'm scared of how the world is
Or maybe the Great Shepherd has marked me as His
Maybe I'm tired of sounding alarms
Or maybe I just found my rest in His arms
I know--I don't know how, but I know
That this is the truth
Don't ask me to show you
A train of logic to give the conclusion
That this is more than just smoke and illusion
To everything else, at the end of the day
There's just one thing that I can say...
I can't live that way!

What then? If God is truly on our side
We can trust that in the end it's going to turn out right
It may take an hour, a week, a year
We may have to hope that his return is near
But providence is somehting no one can explain
Just like God's a being no one can contain
What's left is to lose the control that I've got
And learn that God's God and I'm not
So letting go, I don't know what life holds in store
I don't know if I'm rich, I don't know if I'm poor
I don't know if I'll live to see my grandchildren born
I don't know if I'll die before the next morning
But I know even if I can't see
I'll be just where God in Heaven wants me to be
No matter what comes, this thing I know
His love will never let me go!


from Identity, released January 9, 2009
Written by Evan Hildreth, Jesse Hildreth, and Joseph Dowsley. Produced by Evan Hildreth and Kalen Stanton.




madcrasher Greenville, South Carolina

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