Roll Me Away

Reflections on Shuffle-Play

Roll Me Away – Bob Seger

One of the best things about listening to music while running is how it transports my mind to a different place. Instead of thinking about my breathing or how much longer I have left to go, good music makes the miles fly by.

I have had all manner of listening devices: the transistor radio, the cassette player (I held on to the cassette player for a very long time – I loved my pile of cassette tapes I would stuff into my fanny pack on a long run. Then, one day I looked up from my treadmill at the gym and noticed no one else was balancing cassette tapes along the display board of their exercise machine – it was time to upgrade), the hand-held CD player, the ipod, and now my phone holds all the music I could ever need and more.

I am well back into running after a two-week break for a trip to Norway with my husband. This morning, the final song that came on was “Roll Me Away” by Bob Seger. I first heard this song on the radio in Minneapolis when I was in seminary (although the song itself dates back much earlier – released in 1983). I recognized Seger’s voice and when I got to my boyfriend’s house, I went down to his extensive CD collection to look for the song on his Bob Seger discs. There it was – and I listened to it nonstop for days.

Roll, roll me away,
I’m gonna roll me away tonight
Gotta keep rollin, gotta keep ridin’,
keep searchin’ till I find what’s right

Can anyone sing a song with the same earnest growl as Bob Seger? As I ran and listened, I thought of every road trip I ever took, every lonesome night I spent smoking cigarettes and dreaming of the future, the places, the people, the painful beauty of not knowing where I belonged.

I still feel that pain sometimes. I thought perhaps it would go away by the time one is married with children and a steady career, but it doesn’t.  Then, I remember the Holy Spirit itself brings a restlessness to our hearts.  It stirs us from getting too comfortable. It pushes us, grants us visions and hopes that might seem like nonsense at the start, but if we pay attention, who knows what thresholds we might be about to cross? What might we be becoming?

I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. — Joel 2:28

Listen to your longings. Listen to your dreams. They still sing to you sometimes, don’t they? Don’t squish them down or try to forget them. Listen to their song and remember you are, at every age, a work in progress.

What’s next?

Keep asking that question and listening – and be amazed at what God might still whisper in your ear.

What’s next? Keep rollin’ and keep ridin’, keep searchin’ till you find what’s right…


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