My Country Music Confession
I have a confession.
I like Country Music.
There, I said it.
Maybe it’s just me, but I think there’s definitely a stigma attached to Country Music. There is the perception that the music is quite hokey and that every song is about how the singer has lost his woman, his pickup truck, his favourite horse and/or dog.
A while ago, a girl whom I was rather rather sweet on, unashamedly declared that she really liked Country Music. For this, of course, I mercilessly teased her. In fact, that reminds of a joke…
Q. What happens when you play a country song backwards?
A. The guy gets his wife back, his truck back, stops drinking, and his dog comes back to life.
But the truth is that I have found myself increasingly listening to country music. There is something that’s wholesome and honest about virtually all the songs I’ve listened to (with the possible exception of “Did I really shave my legs for this?” by Deana Carter 😉 ).
The other thing I like about country music is that I can understand what they’re singing about! Country music generally sticks to the basics of life, whereas I quite frankly have no idea what a lot of music I hear on the radio is even about.
I must just be getting old, I guess 😉
Red Lights & Heartbreak
Today I’ve been listening repeatedly to a song by Darius Rucker called “this”:
At the moment I’m reassessing…well, everything I guess… I’ve been looking at the things going on in my life, ruminating over the events which have brought me to where I am today and reconsidering my direction. In this context I’ve been pondering this song’s chorus:
“For every stoplight I didn’t make
Every chance I did or I didn’t take
All the nights I went too far
All the girls that broke my heart
All the doors that I had to close
All the things I knew but I didn’t know
Thank God for all I missed
‘Cause it led me here to this…”
I’ve always loved movies like Back To The Future, Sliding Doors and The Butterfly Effect which look at the lasting effects of small events and changes in a person’s life. For example, what would be different if I had gone to a different university? Would I still be living in America or would I have a nice, settled life in England?
If I hadn’t gone to such-and-such a party or met such-and-such a person how different would my life look now?
Free Will & Destiny
In the song there is almost a sense of destiny being expressed. Predetermination and free-will, concepts which are both found in the Bible, are things which theologians – both Catholic and Protestant – have argued over for centuries.
“All my days were…written in your book before one came to be”
– Psalm 139:6
In my experience, in times of discernment it’s hard to not tie yourself in knots over the questions of choice and destiny, particularly when you’re wrestling over God’s will for your life. I think at times like this it’s worth considering how God has led you up until this point. Things often become clearer in retrospect…
The lyrics of the song exhibit a sense of gratitude for everything that has gone before – good and bad, because it all brought the singer to where he is today.
In my own life, in the language of this song, there are certainly “stop lights that I didn’t make…chances I didn’t take…girls who broke my heart”. Yet many of these events I now see as blessings out of which came goodness and personal growth. I think back over some of the less pleasant periods of my life… I hated school for the most part, yet it contributed significantly to who I am as a person today. My parents’ divorce was gut-wrenching but it forced me to address some fundamental life questions. On balance, I don’t think I’d want to be without either of those experiences.
However, there are also other stop lights, other changes and other heartbreaks that I still don’t quite understand. I can’t do much with these except trust that my Heavenly Father is in charge and he’s going to use them one way or another, and draw straight with my crooked lines.