Lk 6:12-19 People and Things
Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles.
Right now I can’t think of a single list I ever made when I was in school. I know I made honor roll a few times. I made the soccer team too, but that’s only because there were so few kids that signed up for it.
It seems as though success is measured by having your name added on some kind of list. And we’ve got plenty of lists. Top ten artists, Fortune 500, etc… There are lists for all sorts of people. There’s even a death row list available on the Internet.
Yesterday, I read in the newspaper that for the first time in almost fifteen years - and the third time ever- a Christian artist, TobyMac, made it to the top of the mainstream music list. Wow! What took so long? Maybe the question should really be, “Why aren’t inspirational songs the “mainstream”, the norm? Why isn’t the Good News more appealing than all the depressing bad news?
TobyMac’s success really rests in his unrelenting determination to be the best Christian witness he can be. He attributes his success more to his prayer life and faith in God, rather than in the sudden acceptance of the Good News or good taste.
The reason why Christian music is not as popular as it should be lies more in the lyrics than in the music, and in our general and childish attitude towards people and things.
Little girls used to tell their father’s that they wanted to marry them. Little boys used to tell their mom’s that they wanted to marry them. Now, we have little boys and little girls telling their parents that they want to marry their dog. Thus the beginning of the fall of the next taboo! [Just kidding…I hope!].
We honestly think we should have people like we have things: as our possession and at our disposal.
There’s a song that I really enjoyed listening to called Pay Phone. I liked it for the same reason so many young people like it: for the rhythm. But then I read the lyrics. They’re as explicit as they’re desperate, the typical symptoms of childish hysteria. You see, when we think we can have people like we have things and can’t have people like we have our things, we become explicit towards them as well as desperate; Oh how we become desperate for their attention! We write countless e-mails, send countless texts, leave gifts and notes all the time; we look for them, we wait for them, etc…
The group (Maroon) must have recorded two separate versions of it: one for the radio and one for the iPod. But both versions transmit a sense of despair in the lack luster response of people.
Now, what is even more interesting than theory is actual human behavior. I’m sure that in their oversold concerts they do not resort to the toned down version of their song, but rather use the explicit one. I am also sure that when the song approaches the explicit part, the young crowd bursts in, louder than at any other moment of the song.
Why? Because we are the most spoiled children E-V-E-R! We live in a nation where we have so much and yet, we have the audacity to think that life rots! Only a child who thought they could have it all, without working hard at all, would believe "that fairytales are full of sh*t". Only a child who thought they could buy it all, consume it all, inhale it all, would get "f’ing sick by another love song!" [N.B. These are not my words].
These pitiful and superficial sentiments of anger and disgust with people and the world are simply the resurgence of a childish act of a spontaneous outburst from a spoiled rotten childhood whose delusional dream of having it all, including a world that revolved around them, led to a feeling of nausea. Just like what happens when a merry-go-round goes a bit too fast.
Most love songs and fairy-tales are as honest as life. That Cinderella has a deadline is no different than many of us who live by deadlines! Fairy-tales remind us that there are limits in life and with people; but if we do things well, from the very beginning, we might just finish well at the very end. But we have to do things right, which is almost never my way of doing things.
Judas was living a fairy-tale-come-true. Judas was immersed in love. But if love doesn’t change you and a fairy tale doesn’t inspire you, then boy are you going to be in trouble! And when we find ourselves in trouble, in a broken relationship, we can become very explicit and desperate.
Fairy tales and loves songs are not full of it. We are.