So I had to drive to Miami for work this week. With traffic, it took two hours just to get down there. Normally, I pace myself with the precious time I have on the road, be it a road trip or my commute to work. I use the term ‘precious’ because there are limited things you can actually do when you drive-regardless of technology. Meaning that even though you can check your Facebook wall on your smart phone while driving, you know that swerving on the road is unacceptable; therefore, technology is off limits. So, it’s back to music, or simple silence.
My initial decision on the road is always music. If you know me well, you know that music and I are BFF (shameless plug: read my blog, ballerballads.blogspot.com). Listening to music in the beginning of a long drive always makes the time pass quicker, and the type of music you choose always sets the mood for the drive. For many of us, it’s the time used to sing at the top of our lungs and believe for a couple of minutes that we’re good at singing. It works for me, at least. Whether it’s an MGMT feel-good tune chosen just to jam out and have fun, or a mellow session with the Counting Crows to reflect and relax, the selection inevitably sets the tone.
For me, the first twenty minutes is usually upbeat. I’ll turn on some band to pump me up, like Foster The People. I usually ease into something more chill like Norah Jones or Ryan Adams once I hit Delray Beach (20 minutes south) since the “pumped up” momentum in the car is not sustainable for me.
But instead I chose Drake. And I chose him on repeat for the entire drive.
I started listening with the intent to indulge for maybe half the drive to Miami, and then turn the music off and talk to God. A lot’s been on my mind lately, and I knew that I was “indulging” by listening to Drake because I knew I was avoiding God.
What started off as a 7-song EP allowance, turned into the repetition and memorization of the song “Best I Ever Had” and a newfound appreciation for the song, “Fear”. I got distracted from my end goal of turning Drake off and talking to God.
In the meantime, I noticed my attitude getting harder. There is a certain attitude I get when I listen to rappers like Drake or Lil Wayne or Eminem or whomever. The truth is, I like it. I feel rebellious, and get an ‘I can do whatever I want” air about me. But that’s not making my spirit terribly susceptible to the Holy Spirit, is it? I love how God works anyway. Even though I avoided him to Miami and back, He waited for me.
The funny thing is that I can avoid all I want, but I am just cheating myself. It’s just like in elementary school when the teacher would say, “Eyes on your own paper. If you cheat, you’re really cheating yourself.” Young kids don’t understand that if they choose to take the easy route, it’s hurting them in the long-run because they aren’t learning and equipping themselves for the future.
How often, as adults, are we cheating ourselves by taking the easy way out, and missing out on the lessons God wants to equip us with for the future?
When I got back from Miami, I felt drained. Had I not been avoiding God, I would have felt differently. I had to go back to work, run errands, and go out with friends that night, but I had a window of time, after work and before going out, to redeem myself. I decided to go for a walk to talk to God before I went out that evening. Of course, I still tried to avoid the Lord by taking my iPhone and earphones and switching my Pandora on, but was instantly sick of music. I yanked out my ear buds, and finally started talking.
Let me just say that every time I finally cave and go to Jesus, everything gets better. My issues haven’t gone away yet, but peace covers me. He gently aligns my spirit to His, and I am reminded that my plans are not His. What’s unfortunate is that I think I associate God with punishment, so I want to avoid Him. But when I turn around from all my running, He speaks so gently that it’s almost comical that I choose to run from Him in the first place. He is so the opposite of the things we fear. Probably because I John 4:18 says, “..Perfect love casts out all fear..”.
When will I finally get it? I hope soon, or I’m gonna own every rap album ever made.