Too Late to Apologize?

by The Rev. Rich Heinz

Apologize”

by OneRepublic

I'm holding on your rope,
Got me ten feet off the ground
I'm hearin’ what you say but I just can't make a sound
You tell me that you need me
Then you go and cut me down, but wait
You tell me that you're sorry
Didn't think I'd turn around, and say...

It's too late to apologize, it's too late
I said it's too late to apologize, it's too late

I'd take another chance, take a fall
Take a shot for you
And I need you like a heart needs a beat
But it's nothin new
I loved you with a fire red-
Now it's turning blue, and you say...
"Sorry" like the angel heaven let me think was you
But I'm afraid...

It's too late to apologize, it's too late
I said it's too late to apologize, it's too late

[Bridge (guitar/piano)]

It's too late to apologize, it's too late
I said it's too late to apologize, it's too late
It's too late to apologize, yeah
I said it's too late to apologize, yeah-
I'm holdin on your rope, got me ten feet off the ground...

 

Law: Scenario 1

This summer has provided opportunities to be flipping radio stations and actually hear “Apologize” on more than one frequency! Although the song is no longer in the Top 40, apparently it has struck a chord with teens who hurt from broken relationships. So what is going on here, that so many hear these words and say (whether consciously or not), “Amen!”?

One Republic has crafted lyrics that speak of a man getting hurt again and again. The relationship with his girlfriend has soured. It appears that she has repeatedly hurt him, habitually cheated on him. Yet whenever he called her out, she convinced him she was sorry. And he kept coming back for more.

Not this time. The singer (a fictitious mixture of the band’s members)surprised himself and his girlfriend (a fictitious mixture of former girlfriends) by saying, “It's too late to apologize.” He’s not falling for her weak excuses and “I’m sorry’s”. He’s finally come to his senses and it’s time to simply break it off.

Reaching this decision is not easy. He says he needs her “like a heart needs a beat.” He cared so much for her that he would have died for her. Even though he feels it’s devastating to break up with her, he knows he cannot continue in the relationship as it was. “It’s too late to apologize.”

Engaging in youthful romance and figuring out if you have mere infatuation or true, biblical love is a difficult task you may be facing. “Breaking up” can also be a very difficult task, yet it does not have to be harsh. Young men and women can come to the realization that they are not a “good match” and move on to other relationships. Breaking up is not a judgment that the other person is a liar, a cheat, or an all-around “bad” person. Two people can simply admit that they do not work well as a couple.

Law: Scenario 2

I'm holding on your rope,
Got me ten feet off the ground
I'm hearin’ what you say but I just can't make a sound
You tell me that you need me
Then you go and cut me down, but wait
You tell me that you're sorry
Didn't think I'd turn around, and say...

It's too late to apologize, it's too late
I said it's too late to apologize, it's too late.

In utter despair, the young man has completely given up on this one-sided relationship. He has given, loved, adored, and naively returned to his girlfriend…while she basically ignored him, cheated on him, and treated him like dirt.

Now he has taken his own life by hanging. She discovers the tragic scene, but he is already dead, and nothing can be undone. It literally is “too late to apologize.”

I have to admit, this disturbing scenario is what first popped into my head as I heard the song, and I keep returning to it. While the band claims that suicide is not encouraged or applauded by “Apologize,” it appears that the devastating emotions leading up to it are explored in its lyrics.

What horrible depths of misery! The temptation from Satan to destroy ourselves can be all too real, especially in broken relationships. Notice it. Avoid it. Such an act cannot make anything better!

Sometimes that misery even prompts feelings of revenge! A youth contemplating suicide may actually think that this action will “really show her!” Satan can twist and convince some people that this is a way to maintain control, causing those left behind to be forever tormented by the death they could not stop, and tortured by guilt from their “responsibility” over the “victim’s” suicide.

 

Gospel

But God doesn’t leave you hanging “ten feet off the ground.” Indeed, He doesn’t leave you hanging – He hung “10 feet off the ground” for you! He willingly displayed His undying love as the Son of Man was lifted up, suffering and dying on His cross for you. When other relationships crumble, He is your Rock. When others “cheat” on you, He is always faithful. When you are broken and wounded, He alone brings healing.

Sometimes the situation is turned around. You know, when you have been the one cheating, ignoring, and hurting others (and therefore also sinning against God!) Still, the Lord assures you in your Baptism: you are His.

The Lord will give you repentance. And He will never say to you that “it’s too late to apologize!” Our loving Father always stands ready to receive our confession and dish out His amazing, abundant forgiveness. After His Law crushes us, He anoints with His oil and pours out His wine, as the Good Samaritan. In other words, with His gracious Sacraments, He soothes and heals as only He can.

Our Savior restores you, even when life seems to tumble down and all your relationships are filled with hurt. He gives you a confession – a true apology – and absolves it countless times. He forgives and removes that sin. You are His beloved, and no one can snatch that from you! He constantly shows His love to you, and will never tell you “it’s too late!”

 

Rev. Rich Heinz is Pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church in Lanesville, IN. Pastor Heinz also serves as editor of the Higher Things Website.

 

 

Created: September 10th, 2008