I’ve disliked Chris Rice for some time. I’m not sure what it is exactly, and I acknowledge that my opinion is invalid since I’ve only heard maybe half his songs. But there’s something non-masculine about him. Something very self-abasing and whine-whine-why-do-I-suck-so-badly about his lyrics and his voice. I understand the frailty of humankind. I just feel like he should get another topic, that’s all. Much to the chagrin of Stephanie, I’ve even called him “Christina Rice” on a few occasions. But this entry isn’t directly about Chris(tina) Rice, so hang in there. Let me cut to the point.
Stephanie and I were talking about him and his music the other day, trying to pinpoint why I don’t like his stuff and why I tease him when he’s clearly quite talented and has a good voice and solid sense of artistry. We didn’t reach any direct conclusions on that exact point, but I discovered a deeper respect for him when Stephanie quoted the lyrics to Naive, a song of his, to me. Read them. Please. They provide context for the rest of this entry.
Sometimes Stephanie’s arguments really put me in my place. Those lyrics not only did that, but they brought tears to my eyes. Here I was, sitting in a pizza parlor, listening to this stuff, getting all sappy over my slice of thin-crust sausage.
I can’t tell you how often I think on those subjects. Those questions spin over and over in my mind every day. When I was a teenage boy, my mind was obsessed with sex. Now, thoughts of this kind of thing have matched and replaced those old thoughts in volume and intensity. Maybe this is what it means to have the weight of the world crush your spirit. I don’t know. I could’ve sworn I wasn’t scheduled for my spirit-crushing until sometime around my early thirties.
Worry not, readers. I still have Truth to cling to, and I’ve been over the important truths in this issue, and I keep going over them daily. Yes, they’re hard to believe some days, but that doesn’t make them less true. The lie I keep swallowing involves anxiety about evil in the world. I keep seeing and hearing all sorts of crap all over the news, in personal relationships, in bookstores, on the radio. And there’s a voice inside me that screams, “You have the truth! You need to go fix this problem! It’s your duty! It’s your responsibility! Go! Fix the world!”, but I’ve become convinced that that’s not God. God will not require me to do anything that He doesn’t equip me to do. He gives me every supply I need before He starts asking for things. He rescues His children before He requires things of them, not after. That’s the truth. God is 100% in control. His enemies cannot “win” without Him allowing it (albeit temporarily, to prove a point). And even then, He actually uses their “victory” against them in the next battle. I’ve got nothing to want to escape from, and nothing to worry about.
And that’s the other half. As many Christians do, I yearn for the day that God will “step into our sky blue” and rescue us and deliver us from all this. I don’t debate that there is much to escape from. No doubt about that. Anyone who turns on the news for 10 minutes would want to escape. But you know what? I’m not waiting around. My escape is now. Not then. It’s right frickin’ here, right now. God’s Will is my escape. The people and so-called ministries God brings into my life are my escape from evil. When I’m in God’s Will, Satan can’t touch me. Nothing can go wrong. I am not big enough to screw up God’s plans. And I don’t have to worry that I’m supposed to be fixing the world, because God is doing with me what He intended to do all along. I’m fulfilling my purpose in the biggest way possible. What’s left? Faith, hope, and love. Even a child could do that.
So, in celebration of these revelations, I’m going to dedicate the rest of the month of May (a.k.a Verry Merry May) to blogging about things that, in some direct or indirect way, remind us that there are happy things left in the world (such as God’s solidarity and sovereignty). Simpler, more childish things, without such mellon-scratching thought required. Yes, I hear some of you saying, “Gee, that would be full-circle.” Sometimes we need to go on a trip to appreciate coming home, okay, smart-aleck?
With that in mind, I would like to present a very funny song by a very excellent group: Nervous Tension by Lemon Jelly. (Be sure to listen to the entire 30-second preview on iTunes so you get the self-help feel of it at the end of the sample.) It’s a very funny song with a good groove. Ch-check it out.