Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Rockstar

Today in class a music video was shown that bothered me a great deal. The lyrics of the song were really rather profound, but the video contained material that I found unhelpful to good reflection. I hope that the feedback I offered my professor was found to be respectful and constructive. Nevertheless, the song itself was profitable for reflection. I wish he had offered the text of the lyrics on powerpoint slides, as is often his practice. The song was entitled “Rockstar,” and is performed by Nickelback.

The song itself (minus the video) displays our depraved desire to be the center of attention, to be insanely popular, to have people seek us out just to have some of the magic rub off of us onto them, in essence to be a “rockstar.” What I found so arresting about the song was that even tough I may never pick up a guitar, perform on a stage or wear flamboyant clothes in front of thousands of screaming college girls throwing their underwear on the platform, I still want to be a “rockstar.”

My vanity knows no bounds. I want an influential ministry that results in publishing several books that not only become best sellers, they get a merchandise line that buries the end-cap at Life Way. I want to be in demand as a speaker in a way that fills up the calendar. I want people to call me doctor “so and so” and be impressed with my opinion because it carries the wait of some arbitrary credential. I want all this, but it must be accompanied with the validating praise (particularly to be prized in a Christian sub-culture) of being called “humble and unassuming.” I want the ministry success of Rick Warren, the publishing contract of Charles Swindoll, the degrees of Darrell Bock and the reputation of Billy Graham. In other words, I want to be a rockstar. As I said, my vanity knows no bounds.

What’s worse? My depravity is so out of control that I probably, when speaking to you face to face, will say that I didn’t really mean the above paragraph. Oh yes I did. Deep down I don’t really want to be like Jesus, because being like Jesus runs contrary to everything I am. Being a Christian (“little Christ”) isn’t difficult, it’s impossible. I wish I wanted to be like Christ, but I don’t. I even sing in church that I want to be like Jesus, but that’s really not true. If I were truthful in singing, I’d sing something like “I want to want to be like Jesus.” I instead want to be a rockstar.

God please save me from my drive to be a "rockstar." Please God save me from that depraved delusion that thinks I could glorify You that way, and protect people around me who hear me spew that delusion too. Especially please save me from the hardness of heart that would ever prevent me from admitting that I want to be a rockstar.

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