If you know anything in the world about me, you know that I LOVE music. No, really, I LOVE it. Nearly all my childhood memories are in some way centered around music. Rumor has it that musical ability was high up on my list when searching for a potential mate. (By the way, that one was definitely a big check and mate!) When I became a mother, I could not wait for my children to utter their first words just so I would know if they would be able to sing. I have spent COUNTLESS hours and an UNBELIEVABLE sum of money on music lessons for each of my four children. Musical theater is in our blood, we love four part harmony acapella, and for all intents and purposes would rather sing than eat.
I have always enjoyed music from a variety of genres. However, as of late, there are very few songs in the world of popular music that are appropriate for Christians to listen to, and at the risk of alienating some, there seems to be even fewer in the country music scene. I have limited exposure to either of these, but you pretty much have to live under a rock, or at least shun social media all together, to not hear of controversial things going on in the music industry.
I didn’t watch the VMAs but couldn’t miss the headlines about Miley Cyrus’ vulgur performance. Likewise, I didn’t watch the Grammys and see Kacey Musgraves perform “Follow Your Arrow”. This country music hit was listed at number two on Bilboard’s list of the top 20 songs of 2013. Honestly, I knew absolutely nothing about this self -proclaimed “love whoever you love” ballad until this past week when a few of the lyrics inevitably made their way into my Facebook feed. To say, I was shocked and apalled all at the same time would be a huge understatement. Call me old fashioned if you must, but I pray I never loose my ability to blush.
“Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?
No, they were not at all ashamed;
they did not know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among the fallen;
when I punish them, they shall be overthrown,
says the Lord.”
According to the lyrics of this song, you only live once so you might as well do whatever you want, or in Ms. Musgrave’s words, “follow your arrow wherever it points”. Do what makes you happy, and forget about what anyone else might think about you or your lifestyle. It all sounds good, in theory, right? The idea of following your arrow wherever it points reminds me of the words of Solomon.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”
I am no archery expert, but I fully understand that arrows do not just soar through the air on their own. They are intentionally placed in the hand of the archer and very carefully aimed at a target. Even though I have never actually used a bow and arrow, I have it from very reliable sources that success is not easy for the beginner. In fact the words that came up over and over again were practice and consistency. The key to your arrow going where it needs to go, time and time again, is purposing not to give up and continually making sure your arrow is accurately aimed. In other words, the holder of the arrow must constantly keep his eyes fixed and arrow pointed at the bullseye.
Every decision we make, every word we speak, every path we follow is an arrow we are intentionally releasing into the world. When aimed at the appropriate target, much good can be accomplished. We must not grow weary of aiming our arrows in the right direction.
1 John 5:3
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome.”
Arrows are sharp and can inflict irreparable damage .The potential for harm, both to ourselves and others, is great If we choose to release our arrows with no regard as to where they may fall. For this reason we are reminded in Matthew 7:13-14.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
According to the aforementioned song, when the “straight and narrow gets a little too straight”, well just follow your own path. Just close your eyes to the truth, and follow that unaimed arrow where ever it may happen to land. Unfortunately, we know the chances of that arrow hitting the correct bullseye are slim to none. The wise and prudent archer knows to keep his eyes wide open and always fixed on the prize at which he aims.
“Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you,
what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,”
We have a target to aim for that is a “glorious inheritance”. We must persevere and continue to aim our arrows toward that goal. We must consistently hold that arrow and point it in the right direction. Where is your arrow pointing?