My New Book Living More Than OK

My New Book Living More Than OK
purchase it at B & N, Amazon or (click on image of cover)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Shaping The World With Our Choices and Lives

Photo credit: symphony of love / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Whether our life is going great, or just OK or maybe in a spiraling downward slump our choices and consequent actions shape the immediate world around us. You may respond with, “You don’t know what life just threw at me!”. I agree I don’t, but even with the dark discouragements of life we have the ability to choose how to respond. I believe it helps to know that how we respond can create positive change for the better in our lives and the world around us.

I have been listening for the past few months to the latest CD from Switchfoot, Fading West. As usual with all their projects it is full of fantastic music and thought provoking and challenging lyrics to think through. One song that speaks to the topic I am looking at this week is The World You Want. When the pieces of life are falling apart for us the song poses a question of “Is this the world you want”? Listen to the song by clicking on the song title and think through what the song is saying.

The World You Want (Click on the title to view video)

I'm pickin' up the pieces, I'm trying out adhesives
I'm trying to fix a place that feels broken, All my words have failed me
My voices don't avail me, I'm trying to say the hope that's unspoken
Is this the world you want? Is this the world you want?
You're making it, Every day you're alive
Is this the world you want? Is this the world you want?
You're making it

The world feels so malicious, With all our hits and misses
Feels like we're in the business of rust
It's when I stop to listen, All the moments I've been missin'
I finally hear a voice I can trust
Is this the world you want? Is this the world you want?

You're making it, Every day you're alive
Is this the world you want? Is this the world you want?
You're making it, Every day you're alive
You change the world, You change the world
You change the world, Every day you're alive
You change the world, Honey, you change the world
You change my world
You start to look like what you believe, You float through time like a stream
If the waters of time are made up by you and I
I could change the world for you, you change it for me

What you say is your religion, How you say it's your religion
Who you love is your religion, How you love is your religion
All your science, your religion, All your hatred, your religion
All your wars are your religion, Every breath is your religion yea
Is this the world you want? Is this the world you want?
You're making it, Every day you're alive
Is this the world you want? Is this the world you want?
You're making it, Every day you're alive

You change the world You change the world
You change my world Every day you're alive
You change my world Honey, you change my world
You change my world

Agents of Positive Change

Photo credit: deeplifequotes / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

I would like to first list a few thoughts from Jon Foreman from an article he did concerning his thoughts on the song he wrote:

“It's a dark, self-indicting song to sing, because I'm guilty as well. I'm culpable in the state of the world. … Religion is an odd word to our ears. Words like religion, faith, and spirituality are often relegated to the irrelevant, obscurity of our childhood fantasies… And agnostic naturalism becomes the cold, sterile replacement. How could religion have anything to do with our post-modern, post-Christian world?

When Greg Graffin, Bad Religion's frontman, calls naturalism his religion, I think he's right. Your religion might not include transcendent elements, it might not include a long history of tradition. Show me your pocketbook and I will show you your religion. …You can talk all you want about your beliefs, but without action your fancy words about faith mean very little. Religion is best shown in the way we spend our time here on the planet. What you say you believe is not your religion, your religion is the way you treat the orphans and the widows here on the planet.”
- See more at:

Jon rightly points out that our choices and thoughts must connect with behavior to make changes in our lives. As we make changes in our lives the song reminds us that we can have an impact in the lives of others in relating to them as they are going through times of difficulties. We need to be alive to be agents of positive living more than OK changes in our own lives and in the lives around us.

Especially in times where life feels like it is falling apart we need to quiet ourselves and take time to listen. Listen to what God is revealing. Listen to the question “Is this the world you want”. The thoughts in the song fit well with cognitive behavioral concepts in psychology. Think through the world you want beyond the present difficulties. The question also speaks in my mind to Dr. William Glasser’s concept of our Quality World which is the pictures we create in our mind of the perfect world we desire based on our values. Considering in the stillness new choices for positive changes and then decide to act on those choices in new behaviors is what the song is speaking of in my mind.

Religion Is Part of Who We Are

Photo credit: Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) / Foter / CC BY

One part of the song that captured my attention was the near the ending vamp with the repetition of phrases about “religion”. Coming at my worldview as a Christian I understand that the word religion has a negative connotation. We Christians like to state that Christianity is about relationship with God not religion. But in this song we are reminded that religion is one of the unique aspects of our humanity. The repeated phrases remind us that what we hold onto firmly in our beliefs as the most important is our religion.

In Jon’s comments that I quote about the song he alludes to the verse in James 1:27 “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (NASB). Jesus spoke in the synagogues so He was not against religion instead he was against hypocrisy in the religionists of his day. Religion is based on our beliefs but should also be seen in our actions in how we live our lives in an upright ethical manner and caring for those around us.

Reflection: What do you want your world to look like? What choices are you making to help make that happen? What is the basis for your “Religion”?

No comments:

Post a Comment