Broken-down Poetry: Title Track: Everything is Spiritual


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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Title Track: Everything is Spiritual

I never cry at songs. Sure, I sometimes cry during worship music, but I don’t think it is the lyrics or the melody that makes me cry. Jesus makes me cry – as a means of humbling me (not sadistically).

But while I first listened to Thrice’s song, “Beggars,” off of their album of the same name, my tear ducts began to fill and was just a stanza away from weeping.

This song – about how we have no claims in the world (not our name, not our possessions, not our job titles or careers) but must rely on the grace of God to give us purpose – knits the rest of Thrice’s album together. Grace. The world may be mad, as another song on the record screams, but there’s grace.

This got me thinking.

The title track of a CD is, by definition, the song that shares the same name as the album itself. Though I like to believe, and maybe you’ll agree with me, there’s more to it than that.

Some of my favorite albums of this year have title tracks like, “The Hazards of Love,” “Mean Everything to Nothing” and, as mentioned earlier, “Beggars." To say that the band decided to name the album off of the song, or vise versa, just for its name’s sake seems thoughtless. It’s a little lazy.

There must be more to it than that.

There’s a connectivity involved here. The band is saying, look (or listen, rather), there’s something I want you to get out of this album. I want you to catch a theme.


It took all summer to decide what I wanted this column to stand for. Because on the one hand, I want to entertain you, and even more, if I were to be honest with myself, I hope this column will convince you I’m cool, or at least entertainment savvy.

But on the other hand, I want to grow. I want to become a better writer and a better Christian and a better media-consumer through writing this. So after some prayer, and God’s humbling, I decided upon a theme for my column, a “title track,” if you will: everything is spiritual. I admit I stole the name from Rob Bell, but I really like the concept.

This is the belief that everything – what we do, what we say, what we watch, what we read, what we hear and what we think – has spiritual implications.

Spirituality is God’s title track. It’s his common denominator. He says that we must do everything to the glory of God and that every good and perfect gift is from him and that he is the creator of everything.

I invite you all to journey with me the rest of this school year as I grapple with the media and its messages – the good and the bad. I ask you to challenge my theories, and to give feedback. Yes, this is a learning process for me, but I want it to be the same for you.

This is a column about the media – about movies and about music and books and art – but more than that, it’s about how God is speaking to his people through the media. It’s about how even secular entertainment can teach us about our fallenness. I want you and me to learn how to look at the media with a knowledge of the Truth, discerning what media is “safe” to consume, and what to stay away from.

Maybe this is a lot to ask of a weekly column, maybe it isn’t. One thing I promise you, my dear audience, is that I will do my best to implement the 1 Corinthians 10 command to do everything to the glory of God, and to hold to the standard that everything – even the entertainment industry – has spiritual undertones.

The post was originally printed in Indiana Wesleyan University's The Sojourn newspaper.

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