I was driving my kids to school this morning and the Justin Bieber song “As Long as you Love Me” came on. I love that kid. Of course I don’t know him on a personal level…so I don’t really know him to love him…but he is so incredibly talented. My kids are split on whether he is worthy of their idol worship. My twelve-year-old son (who should know better because he is also incredibly musically talented) can not STAND “the Bieber”. My 14-year-old daughter, on the other hand, says that people who don’t like little Justin are “jealous’. I don’t know…I just know I like what I like.
I am commenting on JB in particular because besides his music being pleasing to my ears…I really like his lyrics…they please my Romantic Nature.
“We’re under pressure. Seven billion people in the world trying to fit in/ Keep it together/ Smile on your face even though your heart is frowning/ But hey now, you know, girl/ we both know it’s a cruel world/ But I will take my chances …As long as you love me/ we could be starving/ we could be homeless/ we could be broke…as long as you love me…” I personally know what he is saying. THANK GOD I have that kind of love in my life.
Then Big Sean raps the best line in the song: “Now we are on top of the world, ’cause that’s just how we do/ Used to tell me, “Sky’s the limit”, now the sky’s our point of view.”
I told my kids, “That sounds like a blog!”
My kids (and me too honestly) live creatures of comfort lives. We like our stuff. I suppose if we had to, we could do without 95% of it…but my kids would not give it up happily. I, on the other hand, would be more than glad to simplify down to the absolute bare bones. I will not do it …at least not for the next several years…because I care about my kids contentment, and I care NOT to hear a bunch of whining. But truly, I would be content to live a good deal of my time in a one room cottage or cabin. All I would need would be my husband and pets; a comfortable bed with soft sheets and a warm blanket…a dresser and closet for our clothes…a tiny table in the kitchen to eat and write at…or a bar with bar stools would do…a comfy loveseat…a clean bathroom with a shower, fluffy towels…two computers, a printer, two cell phones, a cd player …a toaster oven, a mini fridge, a crock pot and dishes…and a view. I would have a screened in back porch too with a swing and a table with cushioned chairs. A clothes washing machine would be a luxury… I could survive without it. If I could walk or bike to where I needed to go I wouldn’t want a car either. ( I would also own a HUGE house/cabin on my property where everyone…kids, grandkids…other family…friends… would gather together for holidays…vacation breaks etc. But that is NOT where I would live day-to-day).
My preacher said in a sermon, “The better off that we are getting the more miserable we are…we get so focused on what we want…what more can I have?? that we are not focused and grateful for what we already have.” I think that is true. We are paralyzed by all of our choices…”choice anxiety”. I don’t know about you, but when I try to determine what health plan I want or what smart phone I want or what smart phone calling plan that I want… or what small SUV that is large enough to hold eight… or what I want to eat off of the 5 page menu at the restaurant down the street… or what type of mascara to buy….good grief…the list goes on and on and on from the largest things (which house is the best deal…to the smallest…which flavor and brand of gum?) It make my head want to explode. It makes me want to go back to bed. It makes me want to hire a personal assistant to do all of the consumer reports research and make all of the choices for me. It is simply over-whelming…If we let it be.
So am I saying it would be better if “we could be starving/ we could be homeless/ we could be broke” than to have an overwhelming amount of stuff in our possession or to choose from? That would be totally stupid of me to say! I have never been starving or homeless or broke. To say that would be completely insensitive and outside of my moral authority. I have no knowledge of the subject first-hand and therefore cannot begin to judge or guide another on it… Like the Evangelical Minister John Piper who speaks out on things…namely divorce and abuse… that he has absolutely no first hand knowledge about and preaches his own ideology as God’s Word…or the law-maker who says, “absolutely zero tolerance for any abortion ever!” but does not take into consideration that the wife and mother of three will surely die if the 10 week old fetus that is about to rupture her placenta is not removed/terminated. You might call it murder. I don’t know…but is the failure to prevent an imminent death of one who so many others depend on not also a crime? I AM NOT going to be those guys. EVER. I am not going to be anybody’s judge or god. Do not tell me what I like or what I know and I will not tell you what you like or what you know.
There are HARD choices and complicated scenarios that unless we are the person who KNOWS FIRST-HAND we really have no business forcing our ideology on any body else’s reality.
Back to the Bieber. I like what I like.
Isn’t it a good thing that there are so many different opinions? What if every man thought that Angelina Jolie was the only beautiful woman in the world…or Beyonce…or someone else that doesn’t look anything like we look. Thank goodness the men who love us see us…that they like what they like. “As long as you love me…” Can people live off love? Is love enough?
In The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith who plays the part of the real life Chris Gardner has his son and he has belief in his ability and he has a dream. He never completely loses faith…although he is starving and homeless and broke. It was not a permanent situation…if it were, I don’t know if anyone could retain hope for very long…but he got through it.
“Used to tell me ‘Sky’s the limit’, Now the sky’s our point of view.” Yea, baby.
Oscar Wilde said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
Frances Clark said, “There wouldn’t be a sky full of stars if we were all meant to wish on the same one.”
Like what you like. Know what you know.
And in the mean time take comfort in Psalm 121
“I lift up my eyes to the hills ( vantage point… out of the gutter…above the fray…on lofty things) – where does my help come from?My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel (ALL of us that are God’s people) will neither slumber or sleep. the Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
Does that mean that I will have a life with no discomfort and no disappointments? No.but I am assured that what happens to me can be used for my greater understanding and strength and to grow my faith…and whatever happens to me can be used for God’s greater good. The sky is not the limit. There is a much bigger world than the one we know everyday. We know what we know… is that enough? I want to know more.