Be sure and stop by www.shereads.org too. It's a great place to find intriguing stories written by talented Christian writers. Never tried reading fiction? It's time to start!
And now on to my regularly scheduled post!
The other day I was thinking about my kids' views about music. When I was a kid, I had tapes of the music I liked. When I was in college, it changed to cd's. The point was, when I liked a song on the radio, I had to buy the whole tape or cd to get that song. Ok sometimes you could buy the cassette single and sometimes you could get lucky enough to tape it from the radio (anyone else remember sitting by the radio waiting to catch your favorite song so you could hit record?). But for the most part, you had to buy the whole enchilada.
A funny thing happened when you bought the whole tape or cd, though. Not always, but a lot of the time, you found other songs you liked by that singer or band. Your eyes were opened to other possibilities. (Hang on... I am going somewhere with this...) You discovered a song that you felt like no one else knew about but you. It became personal because it wasn't popular. It was what you found when you were looking for something else.
Now music has changed. One of my kids hears a song and within moments they can get online and have it downloaded to their iPod. No trip to the mall with their hard-earned money, no waiting for your mom to have time to drive you. Just a few clicks and press play. And you also didn't have to buy anything you didn't want or know about. You got what you wanted, when you wanted it. It has revolutionized the music industry. But is it necessarily better that way?
I spent time last week going back through old songs I loved, many of which were songs that were never popular, that most people never heard of. I found them because I had bought the whole tape of some band's latest release. I like them so much because they weren't popular, therefore they didn't get overplayed. They were mine.
How often I want my faith the way I want my iPod-- instant gratification without having to wade through the unknowns. I want what I want when I want it. Point click and play. I don't want God to require me to buy the whole album, to deal with the parts I don't like, to take the time to listen to things I might not want to hear.
And yet, I gained a lot from wading through the stuff I never would have tried without being forced. There were unexpected treasures to be found, surprises I ended up valuing more than what I originally set out to find. I wanted to be a mother but I didn't want the sleepless nights and being stretched to the point of breaking. I wanted to be married but I didn't want to learn how to get along with another person day in and day out, to discover what sacrifice really means. I wanted to be a novelist but I didn't want to have to work so hard to make it happen. I wanted what I wanted, and God used those desires to build my character along the way.
Call me old school (you wouldn't be the first) but I don't want an iPod faith. Just because it's more convenient or faster doesn't mean it's the best way. Sometimes being open to what you weren't expecting is the best way to find what you were looking for all along.