Carlos Santana recently teemed up with Clive Davis to cover some of rock and roll’s greatest guitar covers. Initially Carlos was resistant. He felt unworthy. But after a few follow-up calls by Clive, Carlos came to the conclusion that he needed to defer to great record producer and, in his words, “get out of my own way” to cut the album.
When Carlos introduced his new album at a release concert, he said: “If you want to create a miracle for yourself, learn to get out of your own way.” Wham. Now that got me thinking. Yes, it’s presumptuous to assume that one can generate a miracle, especially for oneself, without reference or relationship to God. But beyond that, I think Carlos was onto something about the need to get out of your own way.
I get in my way all the time. I get in my way when my pride blinds me, or when my ego serves me, or when I turn in on myself. I find it illuminating that “turning in on oneself” is how neo-orthodox German theologians defined sin for their day. I’d say that’s still an accurate definition of what happens when we rebell against God. We turn in on ourself and our self gets in the way.
Jesus said: “take up your cross and follow me.” This vivid invitation to die to self is hard to practice. I get the theology of the cross behind it. I just don’t always like to die. But maybe one practical way toward resurrection living is to die to the pride, fear, ego, or insecurity that gets in your own way.
I admit that I’m partial to Santana’s guitar. Heck, anyone who credits his musical inspiration with John Coltrane had me at hello. But as for those profound words he spoke–I only hope that he recognizes his redeemer for that pathway to life.