Life Isn't Lived On a Stage

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"These are the days which must happen to you." -Walt Witman

Well, we are just now coming to a close on my mini-series about The Reset Movement. It's been nice to have something very reliable to write about for the past while, and I think I'll miss this overflow of stuff to publish. Now I'll have to go to a little more trouble to find a topic for my blog posts... (Or maybe not.)

In any case, this is certain to be the last. The very last. And perhaps the best! But perhaps not. You guys will have to let me know which post was your favorite out of the three! (Click HERE and HERE to read my previous two posts on The Reset Movement.)

And now, on with the story!

After all of the other artists had done their stuff, we came to the final bit of the concert, and the part we'd all been waiting for... Rend Collective Experiment!!! Some people (not to name any names... (Third Day!)) are nice enough to listen to on the radio or on a CD, yet are just dull to watch in person. And then there are other groups who you can tell were made to be seen and not just heard. Rend Collective definitely fits into the second category! (Along with such bands as for KING & COUNTRY and Switchfoot.) 

They came on and did several songs. (Duh.) Everyone was dancing. I wanted to dance, but it was the end of a pretty noisy and exhaustive concert, so no matter how much I wanted to dance, my body simply wouldn't let me. (Darn POTS!) But even though I couldn't dance around, I still enjoyed it immensely. 

The sheer amount of energy and joy you can see in their faces makes you want to smile, too. They seem so very sincere. You can tell they're not just putting on a show- they actually believe what they're saying. (And singing!)

Towards the end of their performance, while they were setting up for their grand finale, one of the guys from the band starts talking about their new album, Campfire. He says, "Now, Young Patrick here, he's a very quiet lad. He doesn't tell you what's going on with him. I think the disease is called "being an introvert". [Insert laughter here.] But get him around a campfire, and you can watch him open up. That's what church and worship should be like. It's not about fancy stages or big buildings. It's a community."

I thought that was so cool! (Beyond discovering that the oh-so-handsome Young Patrick is an introvert.) And so very true, too. Sometimes we get so caught up in all of the trappings that frequently come along with what we like to call "worship", and we forget that worship doesn't just mean "a section of church in which music is played." It can be that, too. But everything you do- from taking out the trash, to calling a friend on the phone- can be a form a worship. Worship doesn't have to be this prim-and-proper, perfect... thing. Sometimes worship is off-key. Sometimes it's just plain dirty

That's a really big theme in their other album called "Homemade Worship by Handmade People." It was music that wasn't done in a studio. It was a reminder that worship doesn't have to be prim and proper. It doesn't have to be some clean-but-impersonal studio recording. (Which is why they recorded the whole album in part of the band's living room.)

I went to another concert (not The Reset Movement) this past Sunday. It was a really neat event. There were lots of different artists there- Peter Furler from the Newsboys, Francesca Battistelli, Third Day, and... Switchfoot! (As well as a few bands I'd never heard of before.) 

Now, of those people, Third Day was supposed to be the "main event". I really think that was a bit backwards, because Switchfoot totally stole the show. Third Day is nice and all, but Switchfoot?! Amazing! 

During the middle of Switchfoot's preformance, the lead singer (whose name happens to be Jon Foreman) started talking. I can't remember exactly what he said, but it went basically like this- "Life isn't meant to be lived on a stage. What really matters isn't what happens up here. It's what happens out there." And with that, he jumped of the stage and started walking through the audience, singing all the while. That was one of my favorite parts of the whole day. Now, I can imagine that getting out there in the crowd must have been pretty cool for him, but it had to be at least somewhat... em... untidy, as well. I mean, it's not as though there weren't tons of people around him, all with their own germs and problems. You can't go into a crowd that size and come away completely clean.

But life isn't meant to be lived on a stage. It's not the big things- the things with flashing lights and lots of attention- that are the most important. The things that sometimes mean the most are when you're out in the world, getting your hands dirty. Jesus didn't come to earth and say, "Alright everybody! Gather round! Just make sure that anyone who's got a cold stays behind the barricade! I can heal you from there just fine. And it's alright if you touch my cloak so long as you make sure to use one of the complimentary hand-wipes first. Thanks Pete for passing those out!" 

No. He obviously didn't say that. He didn't huddle inside of His house, afraid of getting dirty. He didn't heal the sick from afar. He didn't tell his followers not to associate with people who weren't Jewish. 


He dined with sinners and touched the sick. He associated with the lowest of the low, no matter how bad he might have looked afterwards.

Yet so often, we have a tendency to shy away from things that get us "dirty". We might not think twice about giving money to this cause or that cause, yet we certainly won't be the first volunteering to help some poor guy dig through the trash to find his phone. (After all, iIt's his fault that he dropped it!) That girl over there might never have heard of Jesus, but she has a bad reputation, and if I become her friend, people might think I'm like her! After all, “Bad company ruins good morals!”

(Now, in no way am I saying this verse should be discarded. All I'm saying is that it seems we often use it as an excuse not to become friends with people who aren't Christians. Jesus associated the most with people who weren't considered to be... oh, I dunno... "religious". Samaritans, tax collectors, etc.)

Perhaps we shouldn't be so afraid of getting dirty. Perhaps it's time to let go of the preconceived notion that we have to look perfect at all times. Maybe it's time that we just let go of our pride and self-consciousness and just... get messy!

(So, it doesn't really have much to do with my blog post... but it is from the "Homemade Worship by Handmade People" album!)

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