“Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one — the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts” — C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters
Merriam Webster defines MUSIC as the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity. Y’all I love music. Now, I know I’m not the only person, because no matter your preference of genre every single person has that jam that when you catch that audio wave it’s time to get crunk and turn up. How beautiful the effect music has on us. I swear if I ever had to lose a sense, hearing, would be one I definitely would keep. I mean turn on some Killers, Wiz Khalifa, Kid Cudi, Alabama Shakes, or Gary Clark Jr., and my senses enlighten to a new level of Joy. Sadly, part of that enlightenment just reawakens all the past times I got high. It’s a love and hate relationship I have with my music choice.
I open with a C.S. Lewis quote to draw your attention to a signpost. I don’t know if you can relate, but certain music in it’s composition produces unity and continuity not toward a good direction, but along the heathen path. Clearly, from my list of preferred enlighten music, I’m not here to judge your current chosen path. Though my intention is to illuminate your chosen road map and view a signpost along our paths, where you walk is on you. Shel Silverstein best describes my decision:“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference”
“Tekel, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting” — Daniel 5:27
“All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the Lord weighs the motives.” — Proverbs 16:2
To quote my brotha Daniel, “Daniel, is way more then some lion den. The firery furnace is by far my favorite story in the book.” Daniel talking about Daniel. Love it! Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were Jewish teenagers exiled into the Babylonian 3 year reprogram program. The Babylonians would take their captives and reprogram them to be Babylonians along the factors: culture, language, education, identity, shoot, even to the point of given new names. I’m going to suggest you read the book in it’s entirety, but for now here’s the important cliff note version: In Chapters 1, 3 & 6, we meet our aforementioned heroes and see all the opposition they had to face. The book records on how the culture around them was of kneeling to survive, conforming, and disregarding their Jewish upbringing. All the other Jewish exiles bowed the knee to their captors, but not these 4. In actuality, their steadfast faithfulness to God led Him to bestow blessings like having favor in the eyes of their captives and exalted to positions of wealth and power. Chapter 5 is very interesting. Long story short, a hand appears and writes words on the wall in the palace of the Babylonian King Belshazzar. Anywho, Daniel was called in to interpret the writings since I mean come on it’s Daniel. Seriously, Go and read it!! Dream interpretation is probably one of my favorite gifts the Holy Spirit and I need it often. One of the words written, Tekel, is meant for the King and us, ‘You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.’
“The Christian life is something active, not reactive. It had nothing to do with avoiding sin or with merely talking or teaching or believing theology notions or principles or rules or tenets. It had everything to do with living one’s whole life in obedience to God’s call through action. It did not merely require a mind, but a body too. It was God’s call to be fully human, to live as human beings obedient to the one who had made us, which was the fulfillment of our destiny. It was not a cramped, compromised, circumspect life, but a life lived in a kind of wild, joyful, full-throated freedom–that was what it was to obey God.”
I share Bonhoeffer’s quote because of it’s relativity to Daniel’s story as well congruent with the title. How many times do we try to white knuckle our lives?
- I’m going out to get this girl or guy.
- I’m living for my happiness.
- Okay, I need a change. I guess I’ll do the God thing.
- Haven’t gone to church in insert days or months or years. That’s what I need. Clarify, I do not discourage church attendance.
- God help me. I really want this job or get into this school. You know I make you a deal. I promise if you get me in I will give to the homeless or stop swearing.
You may laugh but I did the last one habitually during high school and seldom in college. People, we are moving toward something in the big scheme of things. I love when people say they don’t believe in the point of the main religions, so why even bother. My brother, you are designed to worship something. Literally, take time to evaluate your life and where you spend your money. There lies your idols. Ironically, you can be so set on turning your back on all religions and make your identity as a realist, naturalist, good vibe/energy person, or this “coexist” person that your new identity becomes YOUR religion which only concludes you are believing in a religion. Hopefully, you now see the fact you can’t escape your in some type of religion whatever the label you calling it these days to make you feel better. Listen, if you want to say I’m an a-hole it’s okay. I want you to at least be aware your statement of having no religion is ultimately false.
This “religion” of following Jesus is, I’m going to keep on saying and saying it til the day I die, not about “religion” but about relationship with YOUR CREATOR. Us Americans get this stupidity of proudness on trying to blaze the right path. Ain’t you tired? Shit, I am.
Jesus says it best in John 15:16:You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
That’s grace yall! It’s not, “Oh, I add to God. He is lucky to have me. He saved me because, well shit, I’m needed for his work.” Dumb shit, that’s not it. God graciously died for us all and chose you. Now, you have been saved, which your response should be, here is my all. It wasn’t a little death or small task He did for you. See Mathew 26,27 & 28 to get the full scope of what He did. With his death and resurrection in mind, why the F we want to power through in our own lives? I mean, I didn’t walk on water or lay dead for three days; walk on out and appear to over 40 people, or tell the wind and rain to be silent, but I know someone who did. That my friends is Jesus! The Son of God who laid down His life, so you and I can be set free.
“Our greatest fear should not be failure, but at succeeding in things in life that really don’t matter.” — Francis Chan