Linkin Park is one of my favorite musical groups to listen to while I run, work out, or just drive and need some noise. As I was listening to them while on a run yesterday, though, I remembered another reason I like them… They ask some hard questions, they deal with the real mess that is the life we live with. I have no idea of the spiritual state of these guys, but the fact that they’re a rather popular band (especially a few years ago I think) means they’re connecting in some fashion to their audience, and I think, if we’re honest with our hearts, it’s not just because of their sound. They deal with real stuff.
So I was thinking as I ran that I wanted to blog about a song or two of theirs, to just listen to the words and digest the heart of the matter… not so much the answers they’re providing, but rather, the questions they are asking. Because those same questions are the questions many of those I have a heart for, and a bit of influence over, are dealing with. So I picked the one song I happen to have a music video for, and away we go…
What I’ve Done is one of my favorite songs by Linkin Park, and I think a lot of that comes from the truth that I’ve had my own share of experiences I’d care not to re-live. It’s so easy to go through life defined by these actions, whether they are shameful, heroic, failures, or successes. Striving has become something that seems as much as the American Dream as apple pie, and a life lived constantly on the lookout for “what’s next” is simply considered normal.
But how many of us are ruled by regret, as this song says… “from the truth of a thousand lies.” Those things we believe about ourselves that are really false but that we make out to be true, or those things that perhaps really are true that we’ll never believe. No matter what, should we allow these “definitions” of ourselves – defining ourselves by what we’ve done – to dictate our worth or direction, we’ll always fall short, and we will know it.
This song seems to be mainly about the regrets of life. About the things nobody wants to remember, to deal with consequenses of, or much less to relive. As I look through the words of this song, and even it’s tone, look to the answers that are being sought to this question, “how do I handle what I’ve done… what I’ve become?”
Let Mercy Come and Wash Away What I’ve Done
Face Myself, Erase Myself, Let Go of What I’ve Done
Put to Rest what You Thought of Me.
All of this seems to be a recognition that one can’t “deal” with the pain left by experiences we regret. You can’t forget them, atone for them, or simply bury them. In the end, they get to the heart of the matter. We need… forgivness. Here, I think they’re more talking about forgiving one self, but the point is clear: You have to let go.
As a Christian, the last several lines ring very true for me. The pain DID come for what I’ve done. It WAS dealt with, in fact, it was carried by a perfect man, God Himself, to a cross, on a hill, far away, 2000 years go.
Mercy came. My true identity was made known to the one bringing that mercy and carrying my pain, and He still accepted (and accepts) me.
So In The End (another Linkin Park title), it doesn’t really matter “what I’ve done,” because my burden has been carried, the stain has been washed away, and my slate has been wiped clean.
Here’s the music video, if you care to watch it. I’d love to hear your thoughts.