Recent themes swimming around my mind have been secularity and time management. My whole life there's been this divide between Christian and everything else. There's Christian music, Christian literature, Christian t-shirts (which are awful, am I right?). There's this entire closed off community of religion that we're taught will keep us pure and holy. We're urged not to fall into the temptation of listening to rap music or watching movies with profanity. This, to me, is a load of poop.
Everything doesn't have to be so black and white. There shouldn't be a difference in our lives between "secular" and Christian. Every talent that we have is from the Lord. We don't have to be singing a song about God, writing some allegorical tale of Christ's life, or painting pictures of crosses to be using our gifts to serve Him.
We are so focused on compartmentalizing our lives when it should all just be one big thing. We should be glorifying God in everything that we do, but that doesn't mean we have to be street evangelists or nuns. Be whatever you want to be when you grow up, watch movies, sing along to the radio. If we let our love for the Lord encompass our lives, then there doesn't have to be a "secular".
This leads me to the other aforementioned topic of time management. I am always hearing people talk about spending time with the Lord. In bible studies my whole life I have been taught that it is imperative to find separate time from my regular life to pray and be with the Lord. But I've been thinking lately, what if that's what we're doing wrong- thinking that our relationship with the Lord is dependent on scheduled time away from our lives to talk to God.
Once again, I think this begs the question of why do we need a separation? What if we just incorporate God more into our daily lives instead of trying to squeeze him in as an entirely separate concept? I'm as guilty as the next lad of feeling too busy for said time with the Lord. Between work, school, and (ironically) church, I've, at times, felt like I was failing because I couldn't set apart any time for the Lord. The more I thought about it, though, the idea of setting apart time didn't sit right with me.
I'm just sick of this whole this-or-that mentality. Do the things you love to do. Do them for the Lord. And do them awesomely.
I know that we are to be "in this world and not of this world." We're not supposed to be conforming to the patterns of the world. I agree with that. But it is possible to love life without losing sight of eternity. It's possible to find this fleeting earth beautiful. It seems to me that creating worship songs that are nearly identical to every other worship song ever is in direct violation of the no conforming rule. Don't just glue your feelings about Jesus onto some G, C, D chords and call it good. Express those feelings through the creativity you've been given. Go against the grain. Be radical, be passionate, be genuine.
Be like Mumford and Sons who are not classified under Christian music, but whose lyrics are immersed in a spiritual beauty more profound than nearly any praise band I've encountered. At their concert in June they started into "Awake My Soul" by saying that they were going to sing a gospel song. I don't know if these men are actually Jesus-loving dudes or not, but either way, their expression of blatantly Christian themes in otherwise secular music has given me some of the most intensely worshipful experiences of my life.
Bottom line, I just think that life should be life. We're given it from the Lord and we should use it for the Lord. It doesn't matter what or how. It matters why. If we're taking our gifts and using them to their fullest potential to glorify the Lord, that will be clear and that will be powerful, and that is what matters.