Friday, May 25, 2007

Of Escalators and Roller Coasters

Typically, I love the old hymns. But there's one I just flat out don't agree with. It goes "Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before..." I find that to be a bunch of bull. You see, I think a lot of people get turned off to Christianity because that's the bill of goods they're often sold. Many well-meaning believers paint this picture of Christianity as an "escalator to God." We just keep moving up, in our spirituality, in our happiness, and each step is higher and more rewarding than the one before. When this doesn't happen for new believers, they get discouraged. They believe they've failed...or worse yet, they start to doubt God altogether. I don't know about you, but I've had some rough days in my life since accepting Christ. My spiritual journey is more like a roller coaster than an escalator. That's why I'm writing this new album I'm working on, So Human. It's a look at a real human journey. There are songs for those peak moments, when you feel like you could reach out and touch God...and there are songs representing the valleys where you feel like He couldn't hear you if you shouted at the top of your lungs (and I often do at those times.) It's sad, but you won't find much of that in Christian music today. Heck, it's rare that you even hear that kind of talk from the pulpit either. Artists who dare to write about such things quickly learn that radio isn't interested. "Happy, happy, joy joy" songs only! In real life, not every chapter has a happy ending. Every day isn't sweeter than the one before. There are days that are downright terrible...almost unbearable. Here's the deal, though: Although there are bad days, as believers we know how it all works out in the end. So you have to look at the whole book, instead of one chapter. Take for instance Adam and Eve. If you stop reading after chapter 3 of Genesis, you'd think: "Wow, God has cursed mankind for eternity." If you only read the first 3 chapters of Job, you'd think "What a cruel and unjust God. He completely abandoned a faithful servant." But you have to read the whole book to find out that God's plan is for peace after the suffering...for healing after the hurt. That's exactly what I'm trying to achieve with my music ministry. I want my music to be a real reflection of who I I see God and relate to Him. So, So Human is a reflection of my spiritual journey. If you only listen to the first few songs, you might think God has left me parched, dying, broken. But continue through the album and you find the restoration that Christ offers. If someone tells you that their religion promises nothing but happiness and a fulfilling life with no sorrow, run away. Because that's not what God planned for us in this life. It IS what He has planned for us AFTER this life. But only if we commit to Him. Only if we say "I know there will be peaks and valleys but I will worship you anyway, because you are my Creator. You hold the master plan. You are my savior and it's only through you, Jesus, that I can taste eternity." When we all get to heaven (now that's a great hymn!), we should be worn out from this journey. It's a walk that requires participation, not standing idly as God moves us up the escalator. We must run, walk, climb, fall, scratch and claw to the end. That's the So Human journey. That's the whole story...not just a chapter. That's what my music is all about. For more information on Tim Glenn, go to tim glenn