A friend of mine recently made a comment on Facebook in the form of a redneck joke. It went something like this, "If you find more wisdom in a country song than the Word of God, you might be an unsaved redneck."
Now, being from Aggieland, Texas I thought this was laugh-my-socks-off funny. Country music contains lots of advice, lots of emotion and lots of life. But wisdom? More than the Bible?
I don't think so.
Just typing that makes me laugh again. When I think of the country song, I think of Mama getting run over by a train, tears in my beers and peanuts in my Coke.
She got quite an uproar from some of her "friends" and I wasn't quite sure if people were saying that they sought country music for words of wisdom or if picking a fight was the purpose of their comments. Either way I didn't feel like the comment was targeted at anyone in particular but just an observation of the trendy but faulty belief systems that are short-changing America.
The irony in this redneck joke is that I just spent an entire weekend teaching a Biblical message using Miley Cyrus' song The Climb as one of my main references. Because when supported by scripture there can be beautiful and sound advice in many areas of art and life. Even in country music.
For the most part I have always lived my life for the next high. I love life on the mountaintop where God's hand is evident and his voice is loud. I've always begged him to let me live here where life is good and so is God. No question.
I distinctly remember thinking in high school that when I graduate my life will be great. I thought the same thing about college, getting married, changing jobs and having babies.
Now it's no secret that nearing forty is difficult for me. Hard to swallow because I'm not sure I have any more mountains I'm gazing at. I've never even thought about life after babies. It's a blank.
The truth is after I graduated, married, mothered newborns and reached all those things on my personal list of fulfillment I most certainly remained unfulfilled. As a matter of fact, some of these things that I expected to bring me bliss only delivered emptiness to the doorstep of my heart.
Because I expected to find rest in a life achievement. The beauty of Christ is that we can have rest in the wake of life's path. Rest in the midst of life's heartaches and disapointments. True rest. I had yet to learn that the journey is the destination. The process is the purpose.
As Miley says:
I can almost see it
That dream I'm dreaming but
There's a voice inside my head saying
You'll never reach it...
There's always going to
be another mountain...
Always going to be an uphill battle...
Ain't about how fast I get there or what's'
Waiting on the other side.
It's the climb.
As I walk with the Lord over time I have begun to realize it's not about reaching the top of the mountain.
It's the climb.
"What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their hearts and minds on a pilgrimage." Psalm 84:5