Thursday, January 13, 2011

Theology and Florence + the Machine

In order to achieve Laurie’s Current Favorite Song status (and we can get into the temporary nature of almost all my favorite things another day), a song must pass the car test:  when listening to it in my car, do I have an absolute compulsion to turn it up loud, sing at the top of my lungs, and dance with sufficient fervor to catch the eyes of neighboring drivers?  Enough that they laugh?  And sometimes join in on the dancing?  Done and done for Florence + the Machine’s “Dog Days”.  And now this particular indie-pop-tastic piece is achieving the “always stuck in my head” status as well (apologies if I’m now helping it do the same to you) because it is catchy as all get out, and because I find a piece of it oddly theologically compelling.  Occupational hazard.

This one passage catches my ear and voice every time, but when I went to confirm lyrics there were dozens of permutations.  Everyone seems to hear this section differently.  The one that comes closest to what I hear is this:

Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father,
Run for your children and your sisters and brothers
Leave all you love and your loving behind,
You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive.

Various other arrangements are closer to: “Leave all your love and your longing behind” or some variation thereof, but this one is the one I like best.  And maybe it is a mark of a decent song (or just poor enunciation) that people can hear so many different things in one piece.
Anyhow, I've been puzzling out the nature of call with a few trusted friends lately and it strikes me that sometimes call and traditional family life might be mutually exclusive.  Not always.  Often God calls people to do things with their family as an important piece of the puzzle, and that’s great.  Sometimes raising a family IS the call, and an incredibly challenging one at that.  And I’m not suggesting anyone abandon their loved ones.  But if I were to theologically exegete dear Ms. + the Machine, I’d suggest that you run for your call – that pursuing that which is closest to your identity, to who God created you to be, that is survival on a spiritual level.  Pick up your mat and follow Him. What if we looked at true Calling not as something we have the option of following, but instead the key to a thriving existence… as much necessity as food and water?  And while it might mean leaving behind all that you love for a spell (or longer … that Holy Spirit is wily), perhaps it really is for the good of those you love and for the best for you to refuse the confines of security as priority one, and instead honor your call.

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