Third entry in four days.
I want to say it again. I was encouraged, and I hope that you can just believe me, but it might not seem like us Christians are any different from either the way we used to be, or the way the world is. But honestly we are, and it’s noticeable. And it’s not something we’ve done. We’ve just been fundamentally changed. It’s hard to take on faith, but, I just hope you get confirmation of that sometime. It’s true.
No one seems to understand why I struggle with what I want to do in life. I don’t know, maybe I’m just lame.
But a common response I hear is that I should do what I want to most. I heartily reject this. For like a lot of reasons. Like, where did this idea come from? Our parents didn’t have this idea. Asian or not. Working to them wasn’t a matter of doing what they wanted to most, it was a matter of responsibility.
More than that, there’s absolutely no Biblical support for it. I see not a single passage in the Bible that says you should do what you want to do, or that what you want to do should be a guide in any way for determining what to do with your life.
However, there are a lot of passages that talk about other things you should consider. Like, if God calls you to something specific, it doesn’t matter whether you think you like it or not, you have to obey. Also, it’s clear that you’re to use the gifts you have for His glory, and to spread His blessings to others. There’s a sense of, do everything for God and others, and also, a measure of responsibility equal to what you’ve been given.
But nothing close to “do what you want.” Maybe I’m wrong. But, I just don’t find that to be an idea in Scripture, which is why I reject it so much. It’s a nice idea. I just don’t see the clear basis for it in Scripture. And in my opinion, doing what you want in your career is highly overrated. Meaning, there are much more important concerns.
Granted, the people who said I should do what I want said that in context of doing what I want given I have talents in that area. It’s just not easy for me, because, I don’t know, I feel like I tend to overestimate my ability in things that I like to do. So I view my liking something as being somewhat deceiving.
The thing in particular with music is also that, I don’t even know what I would want to do, but it would almost definitely be a long shot. That’s the way music is. Whereas I honestly feel like if I wanted to, I could impact the world in some way with my academic ability. Dunno how that would look, but I have no doubt about it. It won’t be in the corporate world though. I’m just not cut out for that. But somehow. Hope this makes sense. If I go the intellect route, I feel like I’m sure I could make a “difference” whatever that means. Whereas that’s not so clear if I go into music, whatever that means.
So someone said just do both. I probably will to some degree, but it’s a matter of emphasis. I just look at my dad. He was an engineer for a long time, got more and more involved with church. And it reached a point where he had to choose. It always comes down to that I think. You can’t do “both” forever, as much as you want. Eventually you have to choose what’s going to take precedence, and it’s that decision I’m talking about. Anyway, this crossroads is why my dad became a pastor. He reached a point where decision was necessary, and that’s the side he chose. But yeah, you can do both, but you can’t really do both. That’s what I think.
But whatever, we’ll see what happens. God’s been making stuff happen to me recently, which is good, because #1 that’s how I believe God works, realizing that more and more, and #2, I’m so indecisive/lazy that’s what I need. But, I think things will turn out OK. As long as God decides for me.
Seriously, I think all the time about what I want to do in life, but honestly, I don’t worry about it. There’s a difference, at least to me. But I think I’ll be perfectly happy doing whatever, for the most part. I’m pretty satisfied right now. I don’t think I’m doing what I want to be doing forever, but whatever. I’m learning, I’ve got a great living situation, I’ve got the most perfect girlfriend for me in the world, life is good. So, no worries. But I still think about the future a lot.
A friend of mine mentioned to me how he believed the church should support musical gifts and that proceeds should go to the missions fund.
Honestly, that comment bothered me. I don’t know, maybe this person has thought about how music fits in the Kingdom of God a lot, and I definitely didn’t get to hear his full thoughts on it, but it’s something I’ve thought about a lot. My beliefs have been highly influenced by this book by Charlie Peacock called At The Crossroads, or something like that. I recommend it if you’re thinking about music in your life.
Anyway, what Charlie would say about that view of music is that it lacks a “Kingdom perspective”. It has a very narrow view of what music is. And it’s a view of music as “ministry”. I’m using ministry in quotes. But it’s the idea that music has to be to either facilitate worship or as an evangelism tool, and that there’s no other valid use for music.
That’s the only way I can understand the point of giving all the proceeds to a mission fund. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. But what the idea reveals is that it’s believed that music is inherently a “ministry” and thus there are standards for musicians, for example with finances, that we wouldn’t place on other non “ministry” occupations. We wouldn’t expect or demand a plumber to give the majority of his profits to a missions fund. And the difference is, music is “ministry”.
Sorry, but I disagree with that. I think it’s just an incomplete view of what music is and should be. There is certainly a place for music in worship and in evangelism. But it should not be limited to that. Music isn’t somehow justified or validated only when used for those two things. My personal belief is that music is good in itself. It needs no justification for existing.
Anyway, yeah, Peacock explains it much better than I could, but that idea just lacks a Kingdom Perspective. It’s a view that doesn’t take into account the whole of the Kingdom.
Anyway, when I say I kind of want to go into music, I have no idea what that means. Maybe that means praise. Or maybe it means “Christian” music. There’s another book I read, called The Wind And The Wheat, by Reed Arvin, Rich Mullins producer. That was also interesting. It’s fiction, and the main character, all he wants to do is sing songs to God to encourage fellow Christians. That’s it. It was kind of written as a critique of the Christian music industry, is my take on it, and how it ruins these people that have genuine hearts that want to do just that, praise God and encourage the church. The interesting thing is after he wrote this, he wasn’t around in the CCM world for a while. Like, it came out before that Rich Mullins album he didn’t produce (Brother’s Keeper) and he just seemed to disappear for a while. I always wondered it it was linked.
Anyway, yeah, that’s another thing maybe. Just create music that encourages the church.
Or just be totally independent of the Christian label. I could go on and on about why the “Christian” label in “Christian music” is bad. A lot of people think that bands who don’t want to call themselves “Christian” bands are just selling out. But Peacock accurately notes that in many cases, it’s the opposite. Calling oneself a Christian group automatically guarantees it an audience that it otherwise wouldn’t have.
And calling something “Christian” packages up something in a way that’s not good. With music, it becomes formulaic, using repetitive keywords to justify the “Christian” label, and having a very narrow view for the use of music. And it also compartmentalizes your life. But whatever, again, I’m not doing justice to Peacock’s arguments, but yeah, I have issues with the “Christian music” label, if not the concept.
Uh, I don’t even know what I’m saying. I guess all I’m saying is that how music fits into the Christian life is something I’ve read about and thought about a lot, and when I say I have some desire to go into music, it’s not perhaps what a lot of Christians might automatically assume going into music means. But whatever it means, it won’t be careless or not taking into account doing God’s work. It’s something I’ve thought about a lot. But, I just don’t know exactly what it means yet.
Actually, I have no idea what I mean when I say I want to go into music. But I sure as heck have a lot of thoughts about music. And what it means to be a musician who’s a Christian. Maybe I’ll write about it sometime.