I love classical music. It calms me, it always has. So, when my little Q man was born and all he did was SCREAM (okay, unfair…maybe 2% of the time he ‘tried’ to sleep), I quickly developed a habit of turning on the classical music…for me, really. So, more often then not, if you stop by our house in the middle of the day you will typically hear classical music (and, maybe, me yelling over the top of it…).
However, when I work out, it’s a whole different story in music genre. Out goes Bach and in goes Rage Against the Machine; out with Mozart, in with Tool. Out with calm and in with energy. Now, since I’ve gotten married, my music purchases have reduced to nothing, so I highly depend on others to introduce me to new “work-out-worthy” songs. My brother-in-law left some cd’s he had burned in our van, and I took to listening to them. And came across a few songs that I deemed worthy. One in particular caught my ear, so to speak: Jem’s “Come on Closer”.
This song, simply put, is alluring. It draws you
in. The effervescent high pitched notes play like candy on your musical tongue. You can’t help but think that the introductory notes are the same notes that follow fairies around. They are sweet and enticing, “Come closer” they beckon…”come a little bit closer…” And you do. Add in the soft voice of Jem, assuring you that this is fine, this is good, this is what you want, this will make you happy. You are completely drawn in by the siren call.
But if you listen just a bit longer, the song unveils it’s more primal undertones…the bass kicks in and, as the listener, you feel the lurking beast. And it’s you that is its target. The song is not evidential sweet pixie dust of tinkling fairies looking only out for your benefit and amusement, but the alluring candy path leading Hansel and Gretel to the witch’s oven. But you are already in and now the face of the beast has been revealed; however, you are powerless to fight it. It has won. And it doesn’t back off, victorious; it remains and waits, lurking about you:
And now you’re satisfied
A twinkle in your eye
Go to sleep for ten
And anticipating I will be waiting
For you to wake again
You cannot fight this beast on your own; it will win…every time. To me, this song epitomizes the siren call of temptation, especially for those of us who struggle with addiction (for me, I struggle with food addiction issues). So often I hear that I just need to chose not to succumb, that it is just as easy as simply resisting. And to that my reaction is always the same: “Resist??!?! Resist this very thing that has all the power over me?” To me, statements like “just choose” or “simply resist” do not fully grasp the nature and power of sin and temptation. Temptation is not a mouse; it’s a very beautifully disguised dragon that lures you into it’s cave only to shackle you to its wall with every intent of drawing from you your very life. So again, I ask, “Resist this?!”
Resisting never works, in fact head-strong, bull-headed resisting just makes it worse. (I know, I’ve been there.) You can’t avoid temptation and you can’t take it by the horns. Your only choice–like Pilgrim does with the Black Knight in Bunyon’s Pilgrim’s Progress–is to face it. And by facing it, you admit it to be what it is: more powerful than you. In that admission, you admit another thing: I am powerless. And in admitting your own powerlessness, you cry out for help. And the One who can defeat this thing that has power over you (and has actually already defeated it), rescues you.
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (Romans 7:24-25)
We are saved from death by Jesus’ death. We are given new life because we, our very selves, are brought to death with Jesus in His death; and being like Him in His death we are promised new life that comes with His resurrection (Rom. 6:5). As an addict and as a Christian, I, myself, never have power over that which lurks to ensnare me and lure me back in to it’s hold, but the One who lives in me (in whom I also live) does have that very power; it is to Him that I turn every day all day, powerless and desperate, and find rest and freedom.