You Can Ask for Help, but Don’t Touch My Music! What Did You Say?

by | May 17, 2011 | Priorities, Treasure

It is so fascinating to watch people. Have you ever noticed, for example, how many people walk around with frowns on their faces? What about the ones with perpetual grins? And isn’t it interesting how people often look a bit like their dogs? No matter what the size, the hair colour or the style of their shoes, everyone is fascinating and distinctive. But even though we are all different, we are also very predictable. Despite the fact that we all come in different packages, we are all very human!

While camping at Robert H. Treman State Park last October, I noticed that one of our fellow campers was continually going way out of his way to make others feel welcome. Not only did he want to be helpful to new campers, but he was also quite proficient in doing so! His reception made anyone feel extra special.

There was one interesting fact about this thoughtful camper, however: unless he was away from the camp, his music was always on. It didn’t matter what time of day or night, there was a constant drone coming from his trailer.

I didn’t think much about it until a family with younger kids approached him after ten at night and asked him to turn down the volume of his music. And being the thoughtful person he was, he complied. For about five minutes! Then he turned it back up, even louder than before!

“Strange,” I thought, “this doesn’t seem to fit with the profile of this friendly camper!”

The next morning that poor family needed toothpicks to hold their eyes open, and we weren’t overly surprised when a state park trooper stopped by this particular camper’s site the next evening and requested that he turn his music off completely!

We made an interesting observation the following morning. It was our outgoing neighbour who woke up as if he had a hangover. But he wasn’t up more than a minute before his music was blaring once again, and soon he was back to being himself.

Thinking back on this event, it makes me realize that we all tend to be addicted to silly things. For that guy, it was his music. Though it was clear that he wanted to please everyone, and though he went out of his way to be a helping hand in the campground, his music caused him to be received coldly.

It isn’t always music, however. For some it’s chocolate. One of my former colleagues used to refer to this sweet treat as her “secret pet sin”! Interesting way to referring to such a delicacy! And there are also many other possibilities. How many of us can’t live without TV, for example? We stumble over each other trying to purchase the latest, biggest, widest screens, and the box is always on. For others, it is video games, coffee, eating, getting a tan . . . Even church activities can become an obsession!

Now I agree that these look pretty minor compared to the big leaguers like drugs, sex and crime. But no matter what the object of our obsession, isn’t an addiction an addiction? I mean, it doesn’t matter what kind of a package it comes in; if it isn’t necessary to sustain life but you can’t live without it, it’s an addiction! And all addictions wrench the control of your life out of the hands of God!

May our eyes be opened and may we: “escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” (2 Tim 2:26 NIV)

Only if Jesus becomes our sole obsession will we enjoy real living, one where secondary obsessions seem frivolous and unnecessary!

“Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored. But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells – even though you still experience all the limitations of sin – you yourself experience life on God’s terms.” (Rom 8:6-11 The message)

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV)

“Can you turn your music down please?”

“No, but would you like some chocolate? I have tons in my trunk!”

“I better not; it would interfere with the case of beer I’m planning on drinking!”

Rob Chaffart


You Can Ask for Help, but Don’t Touch My Music! What Did You Say?