Friday, January 9, 2015

The Avett Gospel

I will admit to being a bit blasé lately.  About what?  A bit of everything I suppose.  It happens. 

I feel uninspired, and in a rut.  Wandering spiritually filling my time with business of things needing done, fires to put out, tasks to accomplish.  It happens. 

I should be reminded that being in a rut is not limited to a daily routine of things done with hands, but with the mind and soul as well.  Being busy also serves to avoid thinking deeper...about anything. 

Imagine my surprise to be violently shaken and awoken from a spiritual slumber by the Avett Brothers.  I have enjoyed their music for some time, but never spent the time to delve into their lyrics to find deeper spiritual meaning.  They do not fit in a "Christian music" box...although their music is quite often so, just not KLOVE pop Christian, not meeting a quota of mentions of Jesus or God per song.  (Not saying KLOVE or that kind of pop Christian plug and chug music is bad...per se) 

They did not fit in my rut of what Christian music is supposed to be.  They did not fit into my rut of how Christians should speak, or what they should think.  It is not the first time I have been challenged with answers that disagree with mine and yet still fall on the right side of the ledger, will not be the last.  Being challenged is good...may not feel good, but is good.  What are we sure of which we believe?  Why? 

So, I pass along some things that have blessed me.

Little did I know, they seemingly often sing hymns/gospel songs at live concerts...and in small rooms:
Closer Walk with Thee:
Amazing Grace:
(You can find at least a dozen different ones if not more on YouTube)

Listening to "Shame"
I think of the relationship I have with my wife firstly, but not just that.  The honesty of this song in the depths of disappointing and being unkind to others, and then finding in the end that wrestling through that to another side where we can have empathy and want to help.  The guilt is overwhelming...but there is now no condemnation for those in Christ (so reminds us Paul in Romans 8:1)

Listening to And It Spread
And now I can see Christ, and him raising my hand, picking me up out of the depth of frost of my soul, the fickleness of my heart and its wandering desires, taking lies for truth and vice versa. 

Which led me to a C S Lewis quote (of course, right?  Such a cliché yet I do not read him nor own any of his just came at me) which I had never heard and equally shook me.

“[E]very time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different than it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing into a heavenly creature or a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state of the other.”

And that reminds me of another lyric from Brothers Avett: 
"If you're loved by someone, you're never rejected
Decide what to be and go be it"
Encouraging words to a boy who has a "Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise"

(PS...while finding more Avett music on YouTube, (searching for "Avett brothers gospel") I stumbled upon former Survivor contestant Austin Carty's series "The Gospel According to the Avett Brothers" at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro NC which challenged me further.  Good stuff)

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