I was driving down the road a couple of weeks ago when a song came on that I had not heard in quite some time. It was one of those songs that comes on the radio and you can sing virtually every word even though you haven’t heard it in over 20 years. The chorus goes like this.
Gonna hold who needs holdin’
Mend what needs mendin’
Walk what needs walkin’
Though it means an extra mile
Pray what needs prayin’
Say what needs sayin’
Cause we’re only here for a little while
Billy Dean released this song in 1990, and I remember it well. Great song, good beat, and I liked it. But at that age, the words, well, they meant something, but as we all know, with some age, they mean so much more. We have had more time in life to screw things up, to hurt people, to hold grudges, and to say the wrong things, but we have also had more time to sit back, reflect, assess, grow, learn, and gain wisdom and insight from our failures. We have also had more time to experience death and loss of loved ones, and understand that sometimes there is no “next time”.
Sometimes there is no next time, so we need to just say what we have needed to say for a long time. We have all been there, and some of us may be there now. Meaning, you may need to have a conversation with someone given your mistakes, and maybe given their challenges. It may be a parent, a son or daughter, a friend, coworker, or someone you were the leader of at some point. For me, I have had to have two different conversations with two good ladies in which some things happened under my poor leadership that should not have happened, and tell them I am sorry. And just as recent as last night, I apologized to my son for being irritated with his lack of attention on Sunday as we were trying to get some things done around the house. He had been in a car riding for 4 hours and needed some time to blow off some energy first before setting into the grind of getting things done around the house. I could have moved on, and not reflected on his behavior and mine, and never said a thing. But we as mature leading adults must be aware of our effect on situations and people, and we must say what needs to be said whether it’s an apology, or our “why”, or how we screwed something up, etc.
These sorts of conversations take huge courage. Sometimes monumental courage, because the reason you need to have the conversation was for an event over 20 years ago, like this song was for me. But we all have fences that need mendin’, and we must pray what needs prayin’ to give us the courage and the right words for these conversations. This isn’t a say what needs sayin’ in any sort of “I’m gonna teach you a lesson” sort of way. This is a say what needs sayin” conversation with the deepest of sincerity, the humblest of hearts, a grace-filled soul, a merciful mind, and a love for the other person in pursuit of what is just, right, and best.
The situation may be fragile or delicate but take your intentions and thoughts and say what needs sayin’, mend what needs mendin’. Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t say it mean. This other person may need your holdin’, may need your prayin’, and they may need you to just walk with them on their journey for a little while.
So turn on this song and let it sit with your soul for a while. Pray about it. Let it stir your soul for any needed conversation you may need to have but remember the way to have it! That is paramount. As long as you do it with love, grace, mercy, and a humble heart, you will have done the best you can! Gonna hold who needs holdin’, mend what needs mendin’, walk what needs walkin’, though it means an extra mile. Pray what needs prayin’, say what needs sayin’, cause we’re only here for a little while!