Saturday, 5 August 2017

The Death Of Music Red Flag

Lyrics from two songs of two different eras, by two vastly different types of music inspired this writing. 
American Pie was written in 1971 by Don McLean. I heard it twice on the radio in less than a week. As I listened to the lyrics I was amazed at the imagery. Forty six years later people are still debating the meaning of this song. A popular Christian writer lamented on the loss of creativity amongst Christian artists and writers. This lament could be spread to the mainstream as I fear very little of what I see, hear, or read will inspire, or challenge people generations later.

I believe hearing and enjoying music is given to us as a gift from God at birth. In the song American Pie time and time again the words are sang "This`ll be the day that I die." 
Dying to music can come to people in many forms. Abuse, neglect, bullying, shaming, ridiculing etc can chip away at the music until one day, we hear music no more, feel joy no more. Sadly many people around us are walking around life in this state.
Many years ago some of the music went out of my life: hearing about young girls the same age as my daughters being sold into sexual slavery brought me into a world I never knew existed. Time and knowledge have only increased this sadness. I realize now how widespread of a problem this is. I am grateful to have only read and never had to have watched the abuse of a child.

Oh, and as I watched him on that stage
My fists were clenched in fits of rage
I saw satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

A friend from work went to school with a band from Mississauga named Billy Talent. 

Red Flag
Cast off the crutch that kills the pain
The red flag waving never mean`t the same
The kids of tomorrow don`t need today
When they live in the sins of yesterday

How often do we try to ignore or numb pain? Another friend from work told me about his estranged wife keeping his daughter`s from him, even throwing out his letters, gifts, communications etc. My friend would buy a small amount of alcohol each day that allowed him to numb his pain and sleep.
One year at Missionfest I was at a booth handing out flyers with information about forced child trafficking in Cambodia and practical ways to do something about it. A lady burst into tears as she approached our booth, and walked away. A few minutes later I saw her laughing and collecting information at another booth with a different ministry. Later in the same day a friend approached this woman and asked her about her earlier reaction, the woman`s response was "All I could think of was my grand daughters being in that situation and that is too painful."
I do not know what ever became of this woman but speaking from experience it is my belief that when you are moved to tears this is probably the area of ministry that God has intended for you.

Looking up the meaning of a red flag had many differing opinions. The one I liked most was that unlike a white flag which is used to surrender, a red flag was carried for war.
Sometimes heading directly into pain while seemingly illogical is exactly what we are called to do.
I learned this lesson the hard way. One day I was sparring with my martial arts instructor and things were not going very well for me, I was getting hit often and could not muster any offence of my own. My instructor stopped the session and showed me what was going on. He hit me and what did I do? I stepped back, he hit me again, I stepped back again. He stopped me and explained that each time I backed away from him, he only had to step forward to mount an offence, he also showed me that by backing up I could not generate any power of my own to counter him. My instructor showed me stepping to the side (slipping) was a good move, but the best way to stop his offence was to step right into him, throw my own punches, and force him to back up.
Many people I know that are involved with ministries have suffered abuse and yet God has placed them in areas that deal with a lot of issues that would make sense to avoid.
Running away from pain is a logical wordly reaction, but it is not always the right one. 

The kids of tomorrow don`t need today
When they live in the sins of yesterday

I heard the term "sins of the Father" many times growing up in my Church. It was always used to explain some sin a person had committed, whom had a parent with an obvious sin in their life. I never thought much about this, and after time I almost accepted it. Reading my Bible showed me the many times that God saved David`s line as King of Israel because of God`s love for him despite David`s many sins. I think of John 9 vs 2 Jesus healing the blind man and the disciples asking "Rabbi who sinned this man or his parents that he was born blind? Jesus replied "Neither, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him." I think of Ezekiel 18 vs 20 "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father."
As a father who is less than perfect and was far less than perfect in my younger days, I take comfort in these verses as I think of my children.
The child growing up in Cambodia marked with the legacy of "The Killing Fields" as their past looks forward to a future filled with a God who judges them on their own merit.

I am running very regular this Summer, today I crossed paths with one of these in my ravine.

It was a baby milk snake and thankfully it has was not like the full grown one I encountered a few years ago.

My long range plans are in place in my head, the next few months will allow me to put them into practice. I am to run a full marathon next May, keeping with my previously stated agreement I will not be running to the destination of my next marathon. BUT, I have worked out a compromise and will hopefully run my longest distance ever in a day in the week of next June before next years 5kmWalkathon. I hope to bring awareness to our cause, while sharing, blending and honouring my work place and their cause as they have allowed me the freedom to try to make the world a little better.

I believe in helping others we are able to bring music back to individuals who have had the music stolen from their lives. I also believe earth is so fallen that even our brightest, purest, most selfless experiences of music can only pale in comparison to what one day awaits.


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