The tune is called Clumsy and it is written and performed by one of my favorites, Chris Rice . You can find the song on the CD Deep Enough to Dream. How interesting that the third song in the shuffle series is my anthem for my Christian journey. ESPN’s Chris Berman signature line for a football blooper is “rumbling, stumbling, fumbling”. That would have been how I described my Christian walk until I found this song. Here are the lyrics from Chris Rice that I could have written if I had any musical talent or ability to write lyrics. Those were the only two obstacles that kept me from writing this song.
You think I’d have it down by now
Been practicin’ for thirty years
I should have walked a thousand miles
So what am I still doin’ here
Reachin’ out for that same old piece of forbidden fruit
I slip and fall and I knock my halo loose
Somebody tell me what’s a boy supposed to do?
I have been practicin’ for 38 years. So I should be a couple of hundred miles farther than Chris Rice. And I have the exact same frustrations. What am I still doing here? Why do I keep reachin’ out for that same old piece of forbidden fruit? The lyrics continue…
I get so clumsy
I get so foolish
I get so stupid
And then I feel so useless
To quote Bill Murray in Stripes…”and then depression set in”. This is not a new issue. Paul wrestled with the same problem as he addressed the church in Rome.
- It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God's law with all my heart. But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. (Romans 7, NLT)
But there is good news to be mined in our stumbling, bumbling, clumsy journey. Somehow God’s amazing grace patiently moves in our lives through all of this clumsiness.
But You’re sayin’ You love me
And You’re still gonna hold me
And that You wanna be near me
‘Cause You’re makin’ me holy
You’re still makin’ me holy, yeah
As I look back over three decades I see frustrating missteps. But I also see subtle and real growth in many areas of my life. I am better than I used to be and not nearly as holy as I desire to be. Chris Rice unveils the key to stumbling your way into His presence someday.
From where I stand
Your holiness is up so high I can never reach it
My only hope is to fall on Jesus
That is so simple and yet so difficult for us to live. Paul had some real encouragement immediately following the bleak picture he painted above.
- So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power[a] of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
No matter how clumsy or foolish or stupid I might be in my attempts to follow Jesus there is exceedingly good news. If I fall on Jesus and follow the Spirit there is no condemnation. And I no longer feel so useless.
Dave Burchett is an Emmy Award winning television sports director, author, and Christian speaker. He is the author of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People and Bring'em Back Alive: A Healing Plan for those Wounded by the Church. You can reply by linking through daveburchett.com.