The clock struck five, thus signalling the end of my shift. As usual, the termination of my work day had left me like a worn out football player: dirty, grimy, tired and rearing to engulf a giant pan of deep fried chicken legs.
Mmm… chicken legs. The thought fed my mind as I retrieved my car from the work compound.
Within minutes, I had twisted up the volume in my Corolla and registered the stereo for more base. My smile widened as the sweet, sultry falsetto of Adam Levine came coursing through my speakers, lulling me in and enticing me to dance like a seizuring Canadian monkey.
“I got the moves like jagger. I’ve got the moves like jaggger! I’ve got the moooooves like jagger.”
Mmmm, yes. When I hit the Highway 3 I pretended not to notice the older woman straining her eyes to watch me or the group of teenage boys laughing their brains out as I drove past. What they thought didn’t matter. All I needed to focus on were the catchy lyrics and the repetitive notes that pumped identity into my soul.
Four Maroon Five songs later, a measurement I often used to determine the length of my car ride, I had arrived at my house. Alex, my hubster, pulled in as well.
He rolled down his window, dusted something off his hands and looked me in the eyes. “Whatcha listening to Kate?”
“Mmmm… Maroon Five.”
He tilted his head and continued to stare at me with those wide eyes. “Is that a great idea? The lyrics are ridiculous… not to mention, super sexual.”
I shrugged. “I just…really like the beat. No, the lyrics aren’t good but… the beat is well fabricated.”
He smiled a little. “Katie, regardless if you want to listen to those lyrics or not, your listening to them grants them authority and access into your life.”
“Thanks pastor Dan.”
Alex rubbed the stubble on his chin and kept watching me with those sea eyes of his. “No problem. See you inside.”
As I gathered my computer, lunch and other supplies from the backseat I started thinking about something my mother had told me when I was a young girl. “Garbage in equals garbage out.” Fancy that? I had noticed that since starting to listen to contemporary music I had started letting a bombs and the like slip.
From the heart the mouth speaks. I was letting trashy words that weren’t uplifting anyone around me slip from my lips like they weighed nothing. Oh, they weighed something. They weighed everything. I didn’t care that the people I was passing by with my music blaring were hearing the trash I had been playing. Maybe I should care in the future.
But why should I care?
The kids in the car next to me were being further exposed to toxins they did not need. The elderly woman in the blue Sudan certainly didn’t need to be informed of the fact that I had the moves like Jagger…. My gosh. There’s only one person in the world who need know that!
In my pondering I was also met with a thought, a VERY important thought: what does God think of the music I’m listening to? When I gave my life to Him I told Him He could have my all.
I caught myself wondering: is listening to a sick beat and crooning vocals about only acting on my impulses and using people for their bodies pleasing to His ears or His heart? When I was listening and singing along with gusto was I giving Him my all?
Nope. Quite the opposite…I was allowing something that was anti God into my ears and thoughts. This does not glorify Him or move His Kingdom along.
Now, before we label God as a misogynistic jerk who doesn’t let us do anything we want to do let’s dwell on something: God is a Good Father. He is one who tells us to do certain things and not certain other things because He wants the best for our hearts, minds and bodies.
For example: He will not allow little John John to eat a tub of ice cream before heading to bed because… guess what? It might disable John John from doing things that are, ultimately, of much greater value to him like sleep… and properly functioning kidneys.
God wants us to live lives that are peaceful, void of anxiousness and debilitating desires. His passion is for us to be free and to set others free.
Granted, it’s pretty darn tough to set anyone free who continually chooses to hold on to the broken chain that used to bind them.
If we hold on to the crap we used to be enthralled with before life with God we are weighing ourselves down and excreting values that are questionable. We are also making it very difficult to hear and understand the voice of God if we are shutting His out with regard to this one matter.
Is it worth it?
I don’t think it is…
So, before you turn on that radio and start belting beats with Lady Gaga just remember…you serve a God who created the dreams, passions and desires within your heart. Allow Him to take over your everything and work His full potential in you.
You will not regret it. I promise.
My husband and I woke to see a man passed out on our porch this morning.
I’m no city kid; the Bronx has never been my neighborhood. This may explain why my first reaction was terror. My eyes flitted to the window we had left wide open in our bedroom while my mind calculated the potential cost we may pay for leaving the window in the living room open as well. After checking the screens on the outside of the windows and closing them we decided this could have been a lot worse than it was.
All that being said, we still had a bit of a problem. The man was not so much the problem as were the many questions swirling in my mind.
“What would Christ do? How would He handle this?”
“Do we actually have to go out there and talk to this guy?”
“Do we offer him a glass of water?”
How do we treat him?
Like I mentioned earlier my first reaction was terror. Despite wanting to act like Christ my second reaction was defence.
“How can we get him out of here?” I asked Alex.
He smiled at me, “I was reading through proverbs and asking God for wisdom.”
He paused to stare into my eyes.
“I think we should bring him out some water?”
My heart dropped.
“Do you want to wind up dead? What if the man has a knife, or worse yet, killer breath?”
He smiled weakly then sighed. “Yeah…”
“Maybe you’re right.”
“I know I am…” I peered at the window to make sure the scary, homeless man wasn’t peeking in.
Long story short, the man rose with the faintest hints of dawn. We didn’t have the chance to do anything to change the situation. We simply waited until we saw his foot disappear from the furthest section of our window.
After he left I stopped to ponder the condition of my heart. How was it that I didn’t understand the basic principles of our Christian faith when I had known the Lord for so many years?
How are we to treat people who despite tax payers money, billion dollar grants and countless rehabilitation initiative available to them, live on the streets, endanger our safety and continue to beg?
Do we say, “yes” when they ask for money that is clearly not for bus fare? Should we take them for food when all this may be doing is further enforcing the idea that they can mooch off of hard working people in society?
To be honest, I am still processing this and at the moment have more questions than answers attached to this post.
If you have any thoughts please share them.