Next summer will be the 10-year anniversary of my trip to Japan. I was part of a construction team that was building a house for a missionary. Throughout our week of work, we only had 2 CD’s (remember those days!) available to us. One was a lame contemporary Christian music album and the other was from 3 Doors Down. Some of my teammates loved that band, so we listened to it all day, every day.
One of 3 Doors Down’s platinum singles, It’s Not My Time, pushed me to think a little bit harder about my life. It had been awhile since I’d probed their lyrics; that is, until I learned of a family friend’s recent sudden and unexpected death. Listen to the song for yourself:
It’s not my time, I’m not going
There’s a will in me and now I know that
This could be the end of me
And everything I know
But I won’t go
I won’t go
On the one hand, they are exactly right. If it’s not your time to go, you won’t go. But on the other hand, they are dead wrong. It’s not, as they assert, the will in them that determines when they will go. It’s not up to them to live healthier or fight harder. The Bible actually speaks to this issue, and it’s words have a profound impact on how we live the rest of our lives.
Acts 17 says that God has appointed you a specific time in history and specific times in specific areas. If it’s your time to be in Memphis, you can’t die! Psalm 139 says that every single one of your days was numbered before you were born. Job 14 says your years and months are numbered by God and you cannot pass them. You have an appointment with death and it’s impossible for you to be late!
If it’s not your time, then 3 Doors Down is right, you aren’t going! And if it is your time, 3 Doors Down is wrong, because you will be going. They think their will determines when they go – the Bible says God has already decided. So, in light of this, how should we live differently?
- Live Generously – God knows your needs and will meet them. Saving is Biblical, and you should save, but do not store up for yourself treasures on Earth where you won’t even be able to enjoy them. Whatever resources God has given you, use them generously for others! This could be money, time, talents, or something else, but use it generously for others.
- Love Recklessly – Self-preservation is no longer a concern for you. This doesn’t mean you should eat McDonald’s twice a day, refuse all medical treatment, and leave your doors unlocked at night. It does mean that if God has called you to do something scary, you should do it in the power of His name! You should always love God recklessly and more often than not, there are needy people around you that you should love recklessly. Don’t be stupid, but do love recklessly.
- Learn Ferociously – This one is pretty simple, yet often minimized by the church because of busyness. CS Lewis famously quipped, “God is no fonder of intellectual slackers than of any other slackers.” You have been given a brain – use it to glorify God! Romans 12:2 says you are to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Read, read, read. Set a goal. I usually read about 40 books per year. Set a goal, then execute it. Maybe you are going to expand your brain by listening to free lectures on iTunesU. Whatever your goal, knowing that God has a plan for your life frees you to glorify him with your mind by learning ferociously.
What lessons has God taught you from pop culture? Leave a comment!