Commercial Free Living

I’ve shared on numerous occasions my absolute love for music. Lately, I’ve been enjoy ing listening to music on YouTube, creating playlists of my favorite artists and on occasion, discovering videos that they made. I don’t know if videos are still a thing. In years past, it was how the artist engaged with the audience and fan base, but now there is Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, providing an unprecedented level of access. At any rate, while jamming out, cleaning and listening to LTD, I was singing loud as I could, enjoying the music, when a commercial interrupted my playlist. I could see on the screen what song was forthcoming, but I had to endure the commercial before I could return to “Holding On.” It was too troublesome (removing my rubber gloves) to skip the and even if I chose that option, I still was being forced to watch/listen to a portion of the ad before I could move on. Why did I have to listen/watch the commercial? Why couldn’t I simply listen to all 50 songs on the playlist without the interruption? I found myself laughing aloud at my disbelief and wondered, “When did we develop an adverse reaction to commercials?” In other words, “when did we become commercial free?” My laughter morphed to a solemn disposition as I considered the same adverse reaction to God interrupting what I would otherwise enjoy. As God interrupts and sends forth interruption, it makes me want to ask, “Where did we go wrong?”

I consider myself to be God’s favorite, and yet that does not seem to make me exempt from interruption. In fact, I would suggest that this consideration actually puts one instead on notice, a prime candidate to be on the receiving end of interruption. Years ago, one could not control interruption in the media world. While watching a television show, commercials were inevitable. In fact, we learned to take advantage of the “We’ll be right back after these important commercial messages.” We went to the restroom, made a quick call to a friend and even made a snack to continue our viewing pleasure. At the end of a cliffhanger, we had to wait until the next week to find out the conclusion of the matter. Desire LTD’s latest album? You would have to wait in line at the local record store and pray that there would be one left for you when you reached the front of the line. There were no pre-orders to be placed. We now live in a world by which one can download an entire series and binge over two days what previously took four months. The philosophy of “waiting” is not a functional nor welcomed concept in the world – ergo our defensiveness to God when He refuses to fast forward our faith through tough terrain. He could most certainly but instead it feels like He treats us like a “Stranger” opting instead for us to endure hardship, while we in turn struggle to operate as a good soldier.

As a child, albeit difficult, we learned the virtue of patience. Lamentations 3:25-27 affirms, “The Lord is good to everyone who trusts in Him. So it is best for us to wait in patience – to wait for him to save us – and it is best to learn this patience in our youth.” If in fact we take a page from our youth, where we learned to live “commercial lives” we might find it more palatable to navigate the interruption. In more contemporary times, we wait to get to the other side of the disruption, before we elect to be “Back in Love Again” with God. We cannot do life without interruption. There is no such thing as Commercial Free Christianity. Jesus’ birth was divinely established for interruption. As opposed to focusing on the interruption, we might be better served to concentrate on Him while we are take solace in the fact that His mantra is always to “Concentrate On You” as you navigate the space between what you endeavored to enjoy and what is to come.

While some commercials are annoying, others have jingles, or demonstrate super creativity or ensue laughter or meaningful messages. We each have our favorites. Over the last six months I’ve enjoyed the little boy tying to remove his belt in the restroom and shouts, “Mom, we have a situation!” Instead of complaining, cussing and crying when a situation presents itself, we might opt to cry out to God and redirect our anxiety to the one who orchestrated the commercial. To be sure, God has a “Love Ballad” uniquely arranged just for us! “Mmmm hmmm yeah. I have never been so much in love before. What a difference, His true love has made in my life!”

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