In the mid-1970’s a popular rock group from the land of Dixie wrote and recorded the song “Gimme Back My Bullets.” This led to a problem during their live performances. The audience would bring bullets and throw them on stage when the song was played. That got a bit dangerous and they actually had to cut the song from their set. Eventually the actual meaning of the lyrics became well enough known and they could play it on stage again.
The song had nothing to do with ammunition. The lyrics were written about their songs becoming hits and rapidly climbing the charts. These fast moving tracks were known as bullets. The writer wanted his bullets back. Why? Aren’t hit records the whole idea for a music group? Yes indeed, but the song explains as the hits bulleted up the charts – the members of the band were sinking just as fast in vice. Having started from simple small town roots and values the band was drowning in alcohol, drugs, fighting and carousing. They were self destructing. The song was a lament about what the supposed gain moving forward had cost looking back.
I sure can relate. Moving “forward” from the innocence of my childhood I look back and wish I’d not – done that, said that, acted like that, seen that and gone there. Instead I wish I had – done that, acted like that, seen that and gone there. I can remember innocence. Gimme back my innocence.
I cannot get my innocence back any more than I can be five years old again or those rock stars can undo their mayhem. The Apostle Paul knew this and tells us it is righteousness we need; not our own because ours is dead in sin, “but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” (Phil 3:9) He also instructs us to “press on…forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” (vs.12, 13)
What is ahead? Paul says, “Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” (vs. 20, 21)
The bullets and innocence are long gone. We must move forward in our calling, our citizenship and our conformity. And that kind of forward will leave us with no regrets.