Maybe I didn’t treat you
Quite as good as I should have
Maybe I didn’t love you
Quite as often as I could have
Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time
Elvis struggled with the same conflict many Christians face. It is the common conflict of feeling God and knowing God. Most times it’s a private conflict but for someone like Elvis it was in the open and on stage.
After his concerts Elvis gathered his entourage together to sing gospel songs until the rising of the morning sun. Singing gospel songs was a way for Elvis to feel God’s presence. It seemed God was always on his mind and singing gospel songs was a way to draw closer to Him since fame prevented Elvis from going to church.
Church was our way of life since I can remember. The last time I went, there was so much confusion, and autograph-seeking, that out of respect I’ve stayed away. (The Unmaking of Elvis Presley: Careless Love p.223)
The lyrics from the song Always on my Mind is a love song about a man who never committed one hundred percent to his love. Instead, he justified his refusal to commit by only thinking about her to assuage the loneliness she felt. While she was always on his mind he was not always in her life and eventually she would become a fond memory, perhaps a regrettable memory and a reminder of his failure.
It is the same story with many Christians. God is always on their mind, but they never commit to Him. The modern American Christian culture is largely to blame for this reluctance to commit. The culture has created many spiritual seekers who never commit to Christianity, or Jesus Christ, and linger in that limbo state of doubt. Spiritual seekers not only want intellectual answers to their questions, but they also want their hearts to be healed. The American Christian culture focuses largely on healing the heart and that only puts them in the same place as Elvis because they still do not have answers to their questions. They feel good for a while, but feelings are fleeting and whatever happiness they felt is quickly consumed by the worries of life and doubt returns. Elvis lingered in that doubtful state. At times he felt God’s presence and felt good for a while before he felt miserable again. To be sure, it made him feel like a failure, talent not withstanding.
Elvis could never break free from his prison of fame and fortune to completely surrender to God. He floated in that limbo state of doubt and spiritual failure. The doubt kept him from living his purpose because he never learned how to know God. God was always on his mind, but Elvis never let God free him. Instead of God always being on your mind let Him always be in your life and live your purpose. Don’t let failure shame you from going to the loving embrace of God’s son, Jesus Christ. He holds no grudge against you. It is through Him that we can get to know God. Surrender your life to Jesus and learn how to know Him; so instead of experiencing temporary good feelings you can know you are eternally secure. Sometimes the heart needs to be healed first, and set free, before we can clearly seek God with the mind and live free.
Love the Lord your God with all you heart, all your mind, and with all your soul.