A long time ago

A long time ago
by Joel Howard

Popularity came to me, calling outside my door, 
"Hey there buddy, come out and play!
Out here there's so much more!
Come quickly, yes please come I say!"
So I took a peek and came out there
To look around at what I'd see
But popularity had left to knock on the next door
He wasn't going to accompany me

It would be me by myself, no companion, no guide
So I opened the door and turned to come back inside
I returned to the King, the Lord of my life
I left that race a long time ago

Scarcity looked up at me from the bottom of my pot
Though we had eaten, he sneered and called my name, 
"Hey there buddy, I invite you to worry!
Out there there's so much more, I'm saying!"
So I left home again, and went shopping outside
No list, just looking for excess
But the weather was cold, it was hitting my face
And the worry sparked such anxiety and tumultuous stress

It would be a constant struggle, a never-ending game
To pursue what I could get out there
So I came back inside to the King of my life
That was a race in running I did not want to dare

Comparison came the next day as I ate
With my children and wife, he interrupted, 
"Do you realize, pal, just how much you are missing outside?
You think you have a good life? You're busted!
Fame and wealth get you what you want when you want it!"
But I looked up at my family instead of at him,

"Kids and honey, do you hear that old voice? 
Do you hear evil trampling still? 
He would want us to waste just a second
on his path, his evils, his ill." 

And I turned and told him, "Fiend you can go away..." 
"There is no way I'm coming with you."
And the more I said "no" to the age-old voices
The more I said "yes" to my heavenly choices
The less that old guy called me "pal" and "buddy"
I don't know, maybe he got sick of me and no longer likes me
But even when he comes, I'm better at declining
Much swifter, quicker to know he is lying

To my children and wife and spiritual sons
I tell this story today
If you hear a sneer voice while you're sitting at home
Tell that devil to just go away
Resist him and submit to your Master and Lord
and keep telling that sly messenger to go
For fruitless are efforts to go where he leads
I left that race a long time ago

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