How blue can you get?
Earlier this year a good friend made me a "Chronological overview of The Blues" playlist - in case I ever met John Mayer, I would have something to talk about.
The playlist starts with B.B. King Live at the Regal, and quickly moves to Muddy Waters (my favorite), John Lee Hooker, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaugh, Eric Clapton and ends with The John Mayer Trio.
The thing I quickly realized was no matter how much I listened to Stevie Ray Vaugh or Eric Clapton, I was never going to appreciate them fully because I know nothing about music.
Like, nothing. Once I helped with worship at VBS and they muted my microphone the whole week. While God doesn't make mistakes, He might have when He created me atonal.
I can appreciate the emotions B.B. King ignites as he moves from singing "My Sweet Little Angel" to, "It's My Own Fault" and finishes with, "How Blue Can You Get?" Because, no matter who you are or where you are in life when he screams, "I gave you seven children, and now you want to give them back," at the end... you're into it.
It's a great moment. You can feel the energy in the room. You can picture his passion as he screams into the microphone. Emotions are emulated, and you don't even realize how engrossed you are in the song. The world around you stops, and B.B. King commands your attention.
But ask me about his guitar, and I'll stare at you with a big grin I get when I don't know how to respond.
I can love, appreciate, get excited, even passionate about music based on the way it makes me feel. At the end of the day though, being passionate about something because of the way it makes you feel elicits a pretty shallow passion.
I'm in the middle of this book called "Women of the Word" by Jen Wilkin and feeling all kinds of conviction over the ways I've studied the bible this far in my life. Jen admits that generally speaking women quickly attach emotions to their faith, but that while we're called to love the Lord with all our heart, the same verse calls us to love Him with all our mind. You can't have one without the other.
"The heart cannot love what the mind does not know. This is the message of Romans 12:2-3 - not that the mind alone affects transformation, but that the path to transformation runs from the mind to the heart, and not the other way around" (wilkin)
All your mind. I struggle loving Him with all my heart, and all my soul, and conveniently forget that loving Him with all my mind is even a commandment.
I don't approach my relationship with Jesus with my mind at the forefront, I approach it with wanting to feel His comfort. Or peace. Or security. Or protection. But never to study His character, to learn more about Him, or understand Him more.
While it's not something I want to be known for, having a shallow passion for music isn't detrimental to my well-being. I'm not building my life off of my passion for B.B. King or basing my decision around my appreciation of the Blues.
I am building my life around my faith though, and I am basing my decisions on what I feel God has called me to. My passion for God can't be shallow, because a shallow faith allows for me to lead a shallow life. One that has no significance and my greatest fear is to waste the days I've been given here.
How convicting it is to realize that I have a responsibility to use my mind to know God more, and I have been severely neglecting it?
P.S. Let me know if you want the playlist for your chance encounter with JM. ;)