pull out the stops

‘Cause they need a new song
Like a new religion – Jason Mraz

I don’t know why I’m surprised by the music scene sometimes. There are times when things are wholly predictable. For example: when a brand new song from a pop-punk tween group comes out what is it usually about? Answer: scoring (not points), and having a party, or scoring (again, not points) at a party while getting drunk. Usually those lyrics are sung over a catchy beat and melody. Either that or its a love song that puts forward the hollywood love story (“You complete me” type of thing….Ugh!)

Anyway, my point being is that I find that popular artists generally do not make accurate, poignant observations about the culture in which they are a part of, and in which they have an influence. That being said, occasionally within a song I’ll find a line, or verse that surprises me because that’s just what it does.

I really enjoy Jason Mraz. I honestly think he makes really good music. In one of his songs called “Wordplay” he makes an observation that, in essence, people are always constantly looking for the next big song constantly. What he says is “Cause they need a new song like a new religion”. I remember several years ago (like in the 90’s) how songs used to stay at number 1 for several weeks (sometimes more than 2 months). However, watching the MuchMusic countdown nowadays most songs can’t stay at number 1 for more than 2 weeks. And its always a surprise to see a song there for more than 3. The music industry is really a beast of sorts. It’s like the Queen Alien (hooray sci-fi reference!), always pumping out new songs for the masses to listen to, new videos to watch.

It’s like we feel that we need to keep ourselves constantly entertained, without any time for quiet. It’s like we’re afraid that if we had a moment with no noise, we would “lose ourselves”. Even though, I believe that if we spend time in a noiseless state, we would most likely find out who we are.  I get it, I grew up in a culture of constant noise. I realize that sometimes its easier to live without thinking, like a zombie going from one trend to the next. Sometimes I find myself caught up in it. However, I find that the times in which I get caught up in constant activity, constant entertainment, those are the times in which I tend to be running from the Holy Spirit. As if He wouldn’t be able to make Himself heard over all the noise. But noise, constant entertainment gets….boring. Being a zombie isn’t….living and it certainly isn’t a fulfilling identity.

When I am in constant entertainment, I am always fearful of being exposed because it isn’t my identity. If music was my life, if movies were my life, if entertainment was my life and if there was a threat that it would all be taken away from me, I don’t know what I would do. It is in the quiet that our lack of identity is exposed. We don’t know who we are, so we define ourselves by the things we listen to, things we play, things we watch, how we are oriented. But Jesus comes to destroy all that. He lovingly reminds us that if we are to follow Him, our identity will not be found in temporal things, nor traditions. Rather our identity will be found in who He is (son of God), what He’s done (died on the cross, ressurected) and what He will do. My identity is not found in something constantly changing (cultural entertainment and music), nor is it found it something unforgiving (business, money) rather it is found in a constant, unchanging, mercifully forgiving Wonderful Saviour.

What pain it is to be exposed, but the joy that comes with being found….it’s indescribable. What pain it is to be in the quiet, but what joy it can bring afterwards. Sometimes I hate the quiet, but Jesus uses it to expose my false identities so that they can be laid at the foot of the Cross, and His clothing can be put over me. Sometimes I hate the silence, but it is necessary.

Hansen

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