Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 10: Shake it up

Sometimes when I check in with God for guidance about the day's post for our 40 Days of Faith adventures, I'll think of a song. And 9 out of 10 times when I look up the lyrics, that song will have some message in a line or two that I hadn't noticed before, that speaks with an eerie sort of precision to the topic of the day.

Today when I checked in, I heard Shake It Up by the Cars. I don't even like that song, so I figured it must be filled with some Divine meaning I'd overlooked...

Or not. Maybe I'm missing something, but from what I can tell it's just a song about dancing. All night. To the beat. There's encouragement to whirl your hair. But that's about it.

I'm laughing as I type, thinking about how absurd this sounds (and that if you'd told me back in law school that someday I'd be writing in a public forum about how God speaks to me through song lyrics, I'd have backed away slowly and stopped returning your calls). But I'm also thinking about communication--and miscommunication--in relationships generally. Have you ever heard a friend mention something and think it's a big deal, only to learn later that it was just a passing comment? I can easily think of 1,001 things guys said to me over the years that I accorded WAY more weight and meaning than intended. And anytime my parents said, "Maybe--we'll think about it..." I determinedly heard "Yes, Trish, of course you can go to that party!"

We have translators in our brain that filter what we hear, and a sorting system that prioritizes input in ways we're not always conscious of. (Let me pause here to say that I'm no scientist. I have no idea whether or not we actually have translators and a sorting system in our brains. But clearly some sort of process is going on in there, and it works in a way we don't entirely control.) Sometimes we get it right, other times not so much.

I don't always know what to do with this, but it's been helpful sometimes to back up and take things at face value, rather than plumbing them endlessly for deep meaning. For example, how do I know God's message to us today isn't to shake it up? Maybe we'll each have an opportunity today to dance--literally, metaphorically, on the inside, who knows?--that we'll be tempted to pass by so as not to rock the boat. What if God really is saying, as clearly as he can so I won't miss it, Shake It Up!

Today, I'll try to keep my eyes & ears open for chances to do just that. For all of us, why don't we take this as an opportunity to check in with God to ask if we've missed the point about anything--with him, with friends, with other relationships. Let's ask him to help us understand the real meaning behind things we've mis-filtered & mis-sorted, and how to respond. The Cars say not to worry about my two left feet...but God knows I can't not worry about anything without his help. :)

Share: what song is going through your head right now?

8 comments:

Gretchen said...

Well, now it's "Shake it Up" (gee, thanks!). It's been "Bad Romance" (the Glee version) over the last week or so. And God also speaks to me through song lyrics (the latest song I've hung out with God on is "You Belong to Me" sung by Jason Wade of Lifehouse) but also through movies (Spiderman 2 and The Family Stone being the most recent examples).

Anna said...

"Your Love is Strong" by Jon Foreman.

The week has gotten better and now I feel like I'm stuck holding a bag of magnetic fridge letters and I'm supposed to figure out what the "message" is.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may life you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7.

Sarakastic said...

"I Feel it All by Feist" Maybe the message was to write a blog post about miscommunication.

Rachaelita said...

"Look at Miss Ohio" by Gillian Welsh.

The lyrics that keep replaying are: "Well I wanna do right, but now right now".

Ah, the constant struggle. Doing right is really a one minute at a time (rather than a one day at a time) prospect. A lot of temptation came up for me this morning. However, I believe the holy spirit has given me some new desires to not only do right, but to do it right now. Thank you, Lord!

Rachaelita said...

woops. the lyrics are: "I wanna do right/but NOT right now".

Just to get that straight.lol.

Jane said...

'Don't you worry 'bout a thing' - Stevie Wonder. The words go.....
'Don't you worry 'bout a thing
Don't you worry 'bout a thing, mama
Cause I'll be standing on the side
When you check it out

And Stevie Wonder sure knows how to sing it how it is. A true inspiration in how to find the beauty in life and then let the world know about it.

KimberlyH said...

I've got a bunch of new songs on my running playlist that take turns going through my head. None of the lyrics speak to me, but all of them make me want to get up, dance, and have a good time. I think maybe God is letting me know that I can be joyful.
And now I'll add whirling my hair to the list!

vee said...

The first song that popped in my head was Luther Vandross' 'Wait For Love'
'...Get the love, that i'd been missing
Sometimes love, it takes a long time
But wait for love and you're gonna get your chance to love
Wait for love....'