I should give most of the credit for this blog to my grandmother. When I was in high school, I went to a church lock-in with a friend. During the course of the evening, we were informed that secular music was not edifying to God, and in order to be “good” Christians we should be listening only to Christian music. I remember being absolutely heartbroken, because I loved pop music and had quite an extensive record collection. I went home fully prepared to throw away all of my records because I was told that they interfered with the growth of my faith. Tearfully, I brought a stack of records out of my bedroom and headed for the garbage can in the kitchen. Grandma asked what I was doing and I explained that out of concern for my spiritual growth I was throwing away all the music that was worldly and secular and was going to just focus on music that was God-centered. And my wise Grandma looked and me and replied,
“What a bunch of crap!”
She went on to explain that God isn’t just found in Christian music. While “worldly” music may just talk about things of this world and not spiritual pursuits directly, they are still a celebration of the world that God created. She was the one that helped me realize that we can find the Creator in anything, if we’re willing to look deep enough.
I have always been a spiritual seeker. To the point that at one time I went to seminary because I felt I had received a calling to the ministry. Although I quickly discovered that the call was a wrong number, I continued my education in a pursuit of answers to humanity’s most frequent questions- why are we here, and what gives life meaning. In some ways, this blog is my attempt to use my Master’s degree, which isn’t really applicable in my current job situation.
I will admit that the writings here will probably more often than not be slanted towards Christianity. I will try to reflect on other traditions and be respectful of other beliefs, but Christianity is my wheelhouse and frame of reference. I’m not out to convert anyone; I’m just reflecting on what I have learned and how musings on popular culture have strengthened my own faith and spirituality.
That said, you will notice that I don’t always use the word God when talking about a higher being. I think that the word God is woefully inadequate to describe something so big that is beyond human comprehension. I also personally feel that, depending on one’s experiences, the word God can be loaded with baggage and negative connotations. I think we have many words that can be used to describe that which is above and beyond understanding: God, the Universe, Creator, Sacred, Holy, Higher Power, even The Force. I invite the reader to reflect on their own view of the Divine and how it relates to them in whatever way they imagine and understand.
As is human nature, I will tend to lean more towards artists who speak to me the most. That’s not to say that they are the only insightful ones in pop culture. They are just the ones that I find the greatest resonance with. If you are curious about how I would extrapolate a particular piece that you love, by all means drop me a line and I’ll see what I can do.
Finally, I think this goes without saying but I’ll mention it anyway. Although I use quotes and lyrics from a variety of people, all the views in this blog are mine and mine alone. I’m sure that most of the folks who wrote the inspirations would be surprised to see the thoughts that their bits inspired. Hopefully pleasantly surprised, but the connections I make are definitely my own. That’s my own little disclaimer- don’t blame Michael Stipe, or George Lucas, or the screenwriters of The Hangover for any weird thought that pops out of my head. They may have inspired it, but I take the blame for the views and reflections that resulted.
I hope you enjoy and find your own source of enlightment.