Since this past weekend my Facebook has been flooded with Graduation posts, accomplishments and impressive internships. I’m so thrilled for my peers, but I feel inadequate compared to them. God’s willing, I have one semester in college left. One. Semester. Safe to say the regrets and “What have you done in the past three years?” are hitting me hard. As I listen to “Background” by Christian rap artist Lecrae, I’m being reminding to take a chill pill.
I must digress…
I love rap music. Back in high school Kanye was the love of my life and I made sure everyone knew that. Seriously. Even after he insulted Taylor Swift, I was that idiot LOLing and posting on social media how much I loved the guy for his honesty. Around this time when I was jamming out to Kanye, Weezy and The Game, I was also raising my arms in worship to Hillsong. Man. I thought I had the most diverse taste in music. Not many people could say that their iPod consisted of songs that were surrendering to God and others that were threatening to kill man.
It wasn’t until 11th grade that I started to question my “diverse” taste in music. While I loved the wit, style and beats in secular rap music, I honestly didn’t like the messages in most of the songs. Rarely a song went by where the artist didn’t have at least one line boasting about how great they thought they were. Overall messages were based in the immoral and the illegal. The songs that actually had semi-positive messages still fell short for me. The same rappers that would praise Jesus or mention a belief in Him were also highlighting the fact that they were constantly sinning against Him. On the other hand there were songs like “Hey Mama” that were endearing, which is why I initially felt boundaries was what I needed when it came to music.
Eventually, I decided to only listen to certain songs the clean version of rap songs. Finally in my senior year I abandoned it all and decided to only listen to songs by Christian artists. I felt that I couldn’t be half in. Since secular music was my vice that was pulling me away from God I had to let go of it. The person that’s an alcoholic doesn’t just switch to drinks with a lower alcoholic content, he stops drinking altogether. Intense comparison I know, but when I listen to music it gets so deep within my soul and my heart and it tampers with my emotions. Listening to music that’s glorifying God helps me remember that there’s life after this and that living your life to the fullest need not mean living for yourself or for success. Living your life to the fullest should mean living surrendered to The Holy Trinity (God, His Son & The Holy Spirit).
So what does this have to do with “Background” and my accomplishments or lack thereof over the past three years in college?… Well because “Background” just gave me the wake up call reminder I needed.
I’m studying film and TV because I want to be a screenwriter. I often forget this when my comparative spirit takes over, but I never planned to go into film for fame, fortune or even for a love of the craft. Just like the music industry, the film industry has done a fantastic job selling love, fame and/or money as the key to happiness. Only one of those three will actually bring eternal happiness (love) and that’s only if its based beyond earthly measure. That’s where I hope to come in. I want to be a screenwriter because I wanna make movies that show people that there’s a Father, Friend & Lover that will always be with them if they would just accept Him into their hearts and live for Him.
So I guess the point of this long-winded, all over the place blog post is because firstly I must thank my Christian bros that are satisfying my bass cravings while reppin’ The Lord’s name. I repeat: “Background” is such a killer song. Reason two: I’m done feeling inadequate. I stopped listening to secular rap & secular music in general because I wanted to stop succumbing to man’s fallen nature of praising himself and seeing things only from an earthly perspective. My success isn’t measured by grades or awards, it’s measured by how much of my life I surrender to God. Songs like “Background” are exactly what I need on my iPod to point me back to that truth.