Wrestling with Marcus

A couple years ago I helped put on this conference for college students and I got asked to give the main talk. I gave my spiel to the moderator of the event and included a quote I thought was incredibly pertinent to the topic I addressed. In summary, I was talking about how we shouldn’t run away from our issues (whether its a parent’s divorce, a failed test, and everything in between). I talked about how we should face our issues head on and not run from the feelings they stir up inside of us. A lot of times I think our experiences cause us to fear things, doubt things we previously believed in full heartedly, get hurt and become closed off to trying again, etc. Life effects us. My message was that we are valid in our feelings and fears and pains. But, we should wrestle with these things. If we doubt, then wrestle with that doubt. If we fear, then wrestle with that fear. If we hurt, then wrestle with that hurt. The question at the core of all these experiences is: what is the meaning of this? I believe that this question cannot be answered unless we truly allow ourselves to wrestle with it. Not blindly accept clear cut answers from a textbook or the mouth of someone else. But go through it ourselves. Long story short, the moderator hated the quote I wanted to use because this person thought that I should be telling them to accept “truth” and not challenge it. I smiled and nodded my head, then used the quote anyway in the talk and pissed some people off in the process. We do ourselves a disservice when we just accept things without putting them to the test. Because whether or not, reality will directly press up against our ideas and beliefs. Life will put us in situations in which we have to question the validity of the things we hold to be true. We get pressed into questioning whether they are even real. And what they mean to us. If anything at all.

I think this is the overarching theme of Mumford and Sons’ song “42”. This song gets me. This song gets us. This song addresses human doubts amidst real pain. Things we begin to question because they don’t hold up to our ideas. Questioning the goodness of relationships, and whether a person is trustworthy enough to be vulnerable with in the face of loss and despair. Wondering how we can return to someone or something after it hurts us and tarnishes every memory related to it. Realizing the risk of living and entering into a relationship with someone other than ourselves. Deeply desiring to know things for certain before we commit to them or give ourselves over to them. Wanting guidance and identity and truth. An appeal to something greater than ourselves for answers. I think this song is incredibly flexible in how it relates to different aspects of our human experience.

We yearn for assurance in our encounters with reality. To know our lives are valuable even in the darkness. To believe in meaning while inside the storm. Not assurance in the sense of happiness or full explanations why something is happening so we can understand the complexities of life. Rather, assurance in the sense of a presence. A person. A friend. A voice. Letting us know that transcendence is possible. The existence of what we want is real.

Worth the listen.

42 by Mumford and Sons

Where do I turn to when there’s no choice to make?

And how do I presume when there’s so much at stake?

I was so sure of it all


But what if I need you in my darkest hour?

And what if it turns out there is no other?

If this is our last hope

We would see a sign, oh

We would see a sign


Well I’ve been running from the ashes we left

Forgiveness speaks for itself but how can I forget

When there’s a stain on it all


But what if I need you in my darkest hour?

What if it turns out there is no other?

We had it all


If this is our time now

We wanna see a sign, oh

We would see a sign

So give us a sign

I need some guiding light

Children of darkness, oh

Oh-oh, oh-oh-oh

Oh-oh, oh-oh-oh

Oh-oh, oh-oh-oh



1 thought on “Wrestling with Marcus

  1. My friend! Que tal??

    I hope you are doing well! I have enjoyed reading your posts even a world away and jut want to thank you for them. I really enjoyed this one (of course because of Mumford but also because of current situations and thoughts). I don’t know if you have read A Man’s Search for Meaning but if you haven’t, you should pick it up. It’s my father’s favorite book and i am currently reading it – slowly, might I add to digest it a little better.

    I agree with the importance of questioning and looking into things. I also agree at times we must accept and continue on. Each situation is unique and must equally have a unique response.

    Hope you are well, brother.

    ✌🏼 Michelle

    PS life update please!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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