My pastor (and friend) challenged me several weeks ago to the standards that I use when evaluating music. As I suspect it is with a lot of Christians, my standard had pretty much been as long as there is no cussing in it, it’s probably ok to listen to. But what my pastor made me realized is that if all my life is centered around glorifying God, than that’s what my music should be about too. When held to this higher standard, much seemingly harmless music doesn’t pass muster.
A recent song by Kenney Chesney has definitely fallen short of my new bar for acceptability. In it Kenney Chesney sings “everyone wants to go to heaven . . . but no one wants to go there now.” Although most people may think this is just a tongue in cheek expression of how people approach life, it prompts me to consider how true this is. Ask nine out of ten people if they want to go to heaven and they’ll probably say “yes.” In fact, most people probably think that their final destination is in the celestial realms. And yet this misconception about their destination conflicts with their desire. Because although they want heaven, they want their life here on Earth more. They want the freedom to make their own choices and live for their own goals, ambitions and priorities. They desire control more than Christ, and in the end their desire for themselves will determine their destination.
We want to know that the end of our story is a good one, but we aren’t willing to sacrifice our desires on Earth to achieve that ultimate goal. Whatever we ultimately chose – our desire or God’s – they determine our ultimate destination.