- Written by Captain Jules Badger
What’s not to love about dragons?!
And so easy to imagine!
So yeah, I’ve become quite a fan of the band ‘Imagine Dragons.’ They’ve really got something special going on. Hit after hit after hit. And my word their songs are catchy! Their unique take on percussion is amazing for a start – but then there are the lyrics! And it’s the beautiful poetic lyrics that’ve really captivated me. I can’t wait to hear what they’ll come up with next!
I love it when God speaks to me in unexpected ways –even through ‘secular’ music. There actually needn’t be any separation between the sacred and the secular when we are listening for His voice. So when I was alone driving to work recently and listening to the More FM breakfast show, Imagine Dragons’ latest song cut straight to my spirit with the line “Oh the stupid things I do, I’m far from good it’s true, but still I find you there, next to me.” Are you hearing what I heard? Lord I do so many stupid things, and next to your standard of goodness I suck, but still I find you there, next to me... always, amazingly, just like you promise.
Are you feeling me people?! If you watch the music video of ‘Next To Me’, you’ll see there are layers of meaning like you wouldn’t believe to this song, but for me lately, that line has been a springboard for some amazing conversations with God and moments of profound gratitude for His love, mercy and grace in my life.
So what’s the point of this blog? Well, when I was a teenager (many moons ago) I wrote a lot of poetry. And yeah, I know what you’re thinking… Oh no please don’t inflict your ancient adolescent angst on us Jules! Don’t worry, I won’t. But I tell you what, writing poetry always helped me to order my thoughts and emotions. Often the questions still remained, but something about the process of trying to make something lyrical and beautiful out of my pain helped me find God in the midst of it all – to hear His voice.
And there was a lot of pain in my teenage years. Yes, some was self-inflicted, but not all. Grief over my Dad’s death to cancer when I was 17 shrouded my life for many years and with it the bouts of depression that have come and gone over the years. Yet, as I look back, even in the midst of very dark times, including when I thought I was losing my faith, I can say without doubt, that God never left me. Still I find YOU there, next to me.
Psalm 139 speaks of God being present with us - above, beside, below, ahead and behind. Still I find YOU there, next to me. I think if David were still around (he’s the author in case you didn’t know), he’d have really liked Imagine Dragons! David was a poet, a lyricist, and someone who used words to express and process his pain, fear, anger, doubt and questions. And doing so helped him to find God in the midst of the confusion.
So next time you’re struggling to make sense of things, maybe try writing some poetry or lyrics. Read Psalms. Or failing that, just listen to some music – even secular stuff – because if you’re open, God is more than capable of speaking to you, and assuring you that He IS right there, next to you.
The question we are left with is a simple one – in the midst of it all, whose voice are you listening for?