Tuesday, February 02, 2010

iPod Faith

Thanks to all of you who stop by today for a visit after reading the Proverbs 31 Devotion.

Be sure and stop by 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.

Pin It!


Mom Can I? said...

oh my gosh i remember sitting with my big boom box that had a cassette player too! (it was fancy) and waiting for "that" song. and then i would play it over and over again, until the cassette got all tangled up!!!

and for what it's worth, I happen to love the fact that you are old your music, life and faith.

Anonymous said...

Marybeth, I could agree more with your devotion and your view on Ipod faith!

Mari said...

Today's young people are all about microwaves. They don't like to wait.
Us old school folks, yes that is us...are like crock pots. It takes awhile and we don't mind the waiting. Well, to be honest, sometimes we mind the wait, but we know it's better for us in the long run.
Thanks for the post! Yes, many a night I'd sit and wait for that song to be played on the radio so I could tape it. What memories.

Marybeth said...

Mari, I read a great story a long time ago about waiting that your crockpot/microwave analogy brought to mind. The author said one day she was baking bread and her daughter came in and said she wanted some right then. Of course homemade bread takes time... but the little girl wanted to eat RIGHT THEN! So instead of waiting for the bread, she satisfied her hunger with a cracker. The author pointed out that many of us are like that with God. We demand something right then and, because of free will, He lets us make do with a cracker. When really He just wanted us to wait for the bread He had for us.

Thanks for reminding me of that story! BTW, I am posting about why stories work tomorrow so be sure and pop back by!

Mercy said...

I remember waiting for that one song...and getting so cross with the DJ when they started speaking before the song was finished!! Anyway, isn't our God so good, to give just what we need, even when we do not know we need it. Its like taking your child for flu shots or immunisation, they hate it so but its for their own good!!

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful post. Thank you so much for these thoughts. You write beautifully and your blog is a blessing to me. May God bless you and your family, and thank you for finding time to maintain this beautiful blog.

heather u said...

I too, remember waiting by the radio. My sister and I would call in and tell them we wanted to record so they wouldn't talk through the music. of course, then we wore those tapes out. we would be poised and ready to push that button at every song, they never played the one we wanted right away. Thank you for your devotional and your blog today. I pray that I will have the patience to wait for the fresh bread and to listen and learn from the unexpected to get to what I need. Thank you again!

Andrea said...

Love both your devotional and blog post messages today, Marybeth! You are so right. It is hard in the waiting, but it's worth seeing the reward of knowing the Lord - and His will - better. It's hard to be still, and stop and listen, but we need that in order to hear the Lord better. Thanks!

Love, Andrea

judy said...

I remember sitting by the radio (a.m. stations only) trying to tape a song. We used to work hard for what we wanted.

I have been going through some tough things and I want the instant gratification that I know He could give me. This was a good reminder that God does everything in HIS time.

Nanette said...

How awesome is God to teach true principles to each generation?! Thank you for sharing such a great analogy - a modern day parable!

Heather said...

Amen! I am so glad I read this tonight. It is so awesome to be reminded that Jesus Christ continues to build our character along the way. I love that part!