Thanks to those who sent kind messages about my back. Still sore but a bit better than yesterday.
The lyrics to I’m Still Standing by Elton John caught my attention yesterday, as the coffee was brewing in the kitchen. Rather than just hearing the song as background music my mind tuned into the lyrics and I began to really listen.
I’m still standing better than I ever did
Lookin’ like a true survivor
Feelin’ like a little kid
I’m still standing after all this time
Pickin’ up the pieces of my life
without you on my mind.
I’m still standing. Yea. Yea. Yea.
When people ask you that question about a character you’d like to invite round for dinner, I quite often say Elton John. I don’t know him at all, but he seems to have led a fascinating life. Elton John is, of course, one of the greatest musicians Britain has produced. With record sales exceeding 250 million he’s released more than thirty albums, seven of which have been consecutive US number ones. For a decade he spent more time in the UK record charts than any other performer. A somewhat flamboyant character renowned for his legendary parties, he was awarded a CBE in 1996 and knighted in 1998. I’d love to hear some of his stories and talk with him about what’s behind his drive and all that excess in his life.
Whilst Sir Elton is a talented composer and pianist, the lyrics to his songs belong to Bernie Taupin with whom he’s worked since 1967. So I’m Still Standing are actually Bernie’s words.
The song has a positive, even triumphant feel. Addressed to probably an ex-lover/partner who’s hurt him, it shows there’s a future beyond this relationship. It’s a strong song, full of hope declaring that this is a new day, and I’m Still Standing.
As I listened, words from the bible came to mind – from Ephesians 6:10-20. This passage, on the armour of God is all about the battles of life, and how God wants to equip us ‘against the devil’s schemes’. But the main point of the passage is not so much about the armour, or the devil, or the fight. It’s about standing. Three times it says this – ‘so that you can take your stand’. Now I’m pretty certain that Ephesians 6 was not at the forefront of Bernie’s mind when he penned the lyrics to I’m Still Standing but it seems to me there’s an interesting application here that many followers of Jesus will identify with. It’s the story of many who’ve found new life and new hope in Jesus Christ. It might be your story. And it might go something like this.
In searching for love I’ve entered into all sorts of relationships and friendships that haven’t always been the best. In fact I’ve even partnered with an evil enemy – the devil himself. An enemy who I thought had my best interests in mind, but didn’t. He just wanted to cut me down. But now I see. Now I understand. And so that past relationship is over. I could be scarred and injured and a mess. But I’m not. I’m actually living a new life. This is a new day. A new start. Because I now know there’s a loving God who made me for friendship with him. I now have a new, wholesome relationship with Jesus Christ, who’s enabling me to pick up the pieces of my life, and live a whole new way. And so whatever my old lover throws at me… whatever he tosses my way to knock me down… it won’t succeed. The past is behind me. I’m not down and out. In fact, just the opposite. I’m up. I’m still standing. I’m still standing. I’m still standing. Yea. Yea. Yea.