10 days until I turn 30 (February 18th).The last month I’ve been reflecting on the last 30 years and gearing up for the next 30. Reflecting on the past 3 decades I have learned a couple of lessons that I pray to not re-learn going forward. Over the next couple of days I will have a sereis of lessons that I have learned and or am learning that I hope to share for the soul purpose of having them published so I never forget. So this is Things going into 30 part 2.
Lesson 2: Leave The Volume on Ten, Bob Your Head and Don’t Stop.
My whole life I’ve loved rap music. In 7th grade I won breakdancing contests. When
walking the 2 and a half miles home from school I’d often practice freestyling. “Walking home from school these suckas with cars think I’m a fool, but it’s ok because I’m no tool, if they really wanna hate, they’d better step up and duel.” Stuff like that over and over, I’d practice a wide variety of subjects from “I wish I had a car to take me real far” to “Jesus blood never fails me, its crimson flood cleans me, frees me, and forever feeds and satisfies my soul so if you want to find me on my knees I’ll be”. I listened to but could never really get into Tupac, Bones Thugs, Nas, DMX etc. Every time I did I felt my heart dry up. So I stuck with Christian rap, T-Bone, Cross Movements, Grits, The Ambassador etc. Most people gave me a hard time for listening to cheesy Christian rap. So I would never admit to it, or let anyone catch me listening to them. I would force myself to know just enough about Tupac, Jay-Z and the rest of the motley collection of up and coming rappers of the nineties. I wanted to be able to act like they were my favorite at school, when at home I was head bobb’n to T-Bone’s “Street Preacha”.
If I’ve learned anything over the years it’s that being a chameleon to what people think you should be or want you to be is the worst kind of bondage. Too often my heart wanted to radically pursue God. I wanted to turn off movies and TV, tune out anything not of God and seek after Him with my whole heart. Yet too often I would give up that dream because the people around me felt like that was religious or that it in some way alienated them. So I would cave. I would dial down. I would pursue my faith to the measure of intensity those around me did. In essence I would sell out, and I hated it.
Looking around me now, many of my peers are dialing down. Prayer goes from hours a day, to a few hours a week, to a few minutes a day, to worship on Sunday and try to blend in with the culture the rest of the week. I don’t judge them for this. I love them and hope to stay in their lives. But as for me, I want something more. As I approach the next 30 years I want to be going harder after God when I’m 60. I want to be sold out and unashamed about my desire to live a life of prayer and fasting. I want to be water to a thirsty world ignorant of the gospel. I want to cultivate a flame on the inside that keeps me next to the relevant flame of God’s heart that I may be useful to my friend Jesus in minstring the gospel the next 30 years. I want to live my life in such a way that He receives the greatest amount of glory from my days and nights. For no other reason except that Jesus is worthy. I want their to be oil in my lamp when He comes.
Since high school Christian rap has come a long way. Cross Movements are still going strong, and in 2005 the greatest thing to happen to Christian music happened. Reach Records presented a fiery group of gospel preaching rappers called the 116 clique. Lecrae, Tedashii, Trip Lee, Sho Baraka, D.A. T.R.U.T.H., and others were not only some of the sickest rappers I’d ever heard, their content caused my heart to worship and eyes to cry with love for Jesus. Today I’m no longer a teenager. I’m a Father of two, married, and a home owner. I wear collar shirts, sport coats, and some would call me ethnically challenged to love rap music the way I do, but I’ve learned from the years past. Who cares what people think. Turn that junk up to ten and let your head bob long into your 80’s.
Your money your singleness marriage talent and time
They were loaned to you to show the world that Christ is Divine
That’s why it’s Christ in my rhymes
That’s why it’s Christ all the time
See my whole world is built around him He’s the life in my lines
I refused to waste my life
He’s too true to chase that ice
Here’s my gifts and time cause I’m constantly trying to be used to praise the Christ
If he’s truly raised to life
Then this news should change your life
And by his grace you can put your faith in place that rules your days and nights.
-Lecrae Song: “I Don’t Wanna Waste My Life”