Friday, November 18, 2011

80's Music & Reality

One of my blogging friends posted yesterday that she is taking a break from listening to a radio personality whose programs talk about how bad everything is in the US and how much worse it’s going to get.  She still believes this to be true, but feels that she needs to stop hearing the negativity of his messages and instead focus on what God would have her do in this.

It was interesting to read some of the comments people wrote.  Some agreed with her, others defended the radio guy, saying we need to pay attention because things are really bad.
Her post and the comments got me to thinking.  We all like to think that we’re strong enough to hear others and not be swayed.  I think that’s true to an extent, but I also think we are much more impacted by things than we’d like to admit.  What we read, watch, hear, does influence us. 

There’s a crazy radio station here in Jarabacoa which plays lots of songs (in English) from the 1980’s.  Oh, yeah, the ‘80’s!  I was in high school and college so it’s ‘my’ decade.  Needless to say, I am loving this station! 

It’s been years since I’ve listened to the Psychedelic Furs, Pet Shop Boys or Depeche Mode, but I am able to sing along to at least the chorus of their old songs.  Back then I didn’t own many records, and there was no Internet to search for lyrics, but somehow the words got absorbed into my brain.

What I listened to 25 years ago has stuck with me.  What about what I’ve read?  What I’ve seen? What am I filling my head (and heart!) with?  What is getting in without me even being aware? 
No, I don’t think we are to shut out all news, opinions, ideas, and only ever read the Bible and pray.  But, is that honestly where any of us are at?  With all due respect, the fact that you are reading this means you (and I!) cannot claim this! 

I think there is great value in having what we think challenged and stretched.  I think it is healthy to learn what others believe about important topics. 
However, I have to ask myself (and you!), Am I spending as much time filling my head and heart with the words of God as I am taking in other sources of information?  Not as some magic elixir which will make the bad things go away!  But, as a much-needed dose of REAL reality. 
Yes, it’s possible that there are hard times ahead.  But, friends, right now there are people in every corner of the world struggling to survive.  That’s been the case since Genesis Chapter 3.  Our citizenship is in Heaven.  Unless we live out of this truth, the news of financial crises and threats to our earthly security will paralyze us.   

Being a Christ-follower does not mean burying our heads in the sand.  In fact, truly following Jesus should make us the most realistic people on the planet!  Realistic about sin and brokenness, but also realistic in our joy because we have Hope that is not tied to anything this world can give. 
The reality is, the world is a mess.  But, we can take heart because the One who has overcome the world is with us.  He calls us to not sit around wringing our hands, but in trust and obedience, to reach out into the pain and suffering in His love.

So, I applaud my friend, and am going to take a look at what influences me these days.  My prayer is that by being intentional about what I allow to enter my head and heart, I will be more – not less! – able to share God’s truth, hope and reality, with the women of El Callejon and beyond.


  1. You are what you eat

  2. Back to my favorite: John 16, and, esp., v. 33 ...