Blowing Smoke

This song is by a group called Swirling Eddies, formerly Daniel Amos.  They’re a Christian group, but not in a traditional sense.  In fact, most of their songs lambast the faith and its idiosyncrasies.  I have to admit I had never heard of them until Jonathon and I got together more than 20 years ago.  Back then, I liked my music straightforward.  I remember being disappointed in Amy Grant when she “crossed over”.  And I don’t mean she died.  It seemed  she was leaving what she knew behind, her faith.  Her secular love songs confused me.  Was she still a Christian?

But I’m older now and I’ve discovered life isn’t black and white.  It very definitely has multi-faceted shades of gray.  Music and the arts can encourage and inspire, because all creativity is from God.  He is the ultimate in creating things!  Some things are still straightforward. You’ll shoot your eye out!  I’m thinking of the 10 Commandments here.  No stealing, coveting is bad, murder is super bad.  Yet so many, many things do not fall under a directive from God or Jesus.

I am finding that the “dos” (not dos, like the number 2 in Spanish) are more compelling.  Take the fruit of the Spirit, for instance.  Galatians 5:22-23 says:  But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

And so, as I’ve listened to the above song off and on for more than 20 years, I have to ask myself now:  do I sound like the girl in the song?  I remember hearing it for the first time and thinking, Oh, that’s a sweet song!  But am I that partner my husband needs?  Am I the mom my kids need, filled with love, gentleness and kindness?  I find myself convicted of being more of a “do or die” personality.  I’ve always considered being accommodating as more of a weakness. Think this:

Granted, Scarlett O’Hara is not a role model I’d ever aspire to.  But I admire her pluck and determination.  The scheming, manipulative part I would reject wholeheartedly.  I’d keep the clothes and hats, though.  Melanie is the gold standard for goodness in that movie.  I still don’t like her.

I hear in this song that there’s a beauty to being softer, kinder and more accessible.  Not like I’m a couch or anything, but you get the idea.  God is pleased with the sweetness of her disposition towards her family.  He blesses her because of it.  She’s living out her faith in a tangible way.  She doesn’t need a fish sticker on her car.  She simply does what the Bible asks.

I have no plans to alter my personality; it’s simply not in my purview.  But I am open to continue to grow and become.


2 thoughts on “Blowing Smoke”

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