Every once and a while, I’ll tune into what is topping the charts in the US/Globally.
You see, one of the unique opportunities in being international long term, or even for an extended period like with Compassion Corp, is a removal from so many things we don’t even think of.
See: singing in the car.
Not just the breathe easy, embrace your freedom awesomeness of the independent ability to get to any point B you want from any point B that you choose – all alone! – but also that therapeutic belting of whatever the radio has to offer.
This is stripped along with ability to travel independently once you move.
So, back to the unique opportunity of removal….when those car rides are taken away, and that radio time is taken away, and possible keeping up at all with new music is taken away…if and when you DO get the opportunity to tune in, it is not a mindless activity.
From artist names to the way that beats are compiled and finally, to the lyrics. You pay closer attention, and instead of naturally singing the lyrics that everyone knows, you need to listen to them and learn them to catch up.
Or, you aren’t automatically memorizing lyrics anymore – you are listening intentionally for a change as it’s new music, and you’re trying to soak up and re-learn the culture you came from. You aren’t trying to memorize lyrics, but you are still filtering them word by word into your mind to soak up “home”.
And like I said, wow.
I think that we can all agree that it isn’t rocket science that everyone is worshiping something. Also not rocket science that relationships or a million other things can replace ultimate love, or whatever we are yearning to fill us. Of course this culminates in pop music. Especially since pop music isn’t necessarily trying to be deep (side note: Christian rap is killing it lately as far as substance and music coming together. Just sayin’. I’d be happy to recommend an artist or five.) – it’s no surprise that music isn’t sending messages that are truly filling.
But y’all….there are some seriously CLEAR messages being sent in music. Lines belt out what could be worship music if you changed the context of the song.
“say you’ll never let me go”
“you were my everything”
“so hold me, wrap me up, fill up my cup…cause I’m hollow”
“you were my courage, my sword and shield, grace under pressure, wall of steel”
But the problem is…..it’s about fame – self – or a significant other. One song talks about the only thing in life being needed is a good beat to dance and forget about the world all night. A girlfriend is described like the glue that holds the universe together.
Y’all. This is dangerous.
And I think that’s the only reason I wrote this. I think we all just need to be reminded sometimes…we are surrounded by so many messages. Dangerous ones.
Now, I’m not against a romantic line. And the big action step to react is not turning off the radio for the rest of forever. But friends, too many people are not filtering songs to recognize that a girlfriend is not actually what holds the universe together. Your strength, courage, and grace under pressure cannot be the person sharing your bed. Freedom, TRUE soul fueling freedom, is not experienced in rebelling against mainstream culture or a night on the dance floor without cares. It is not healthy in any way to be “lost”, “faded”, out of purpose, out of strength…based on something on this earth that you can gain or lose.
And I, for one, am SO tired of seeing Twitter, Insta, and real life conversations FULL of people whose emotions are swinging on a pendulum like the artists on the radio – based on having “them” or “that”. It’s exhausting on emotions to see people with so much potential SO chained to the temporary, and not seeing how they have wrapped their existence up into literally what accumulates to a big ol’ nothing.
We need to not fear danger – but recognize it and suit up accordingly. Activate our minds and pay attention to what messages are hurled at us all day long.
We were meant for bigger things.
“And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:39-40