AEnema as a reminder?

Wowsers… You never can tell how you’re going to get a nudge, where it’ll come from, or what ways He manifests it. It also can appear to be a bit vague and often unprovable, but I truly believe that God puts things before us to ponder if and when we pay Him attention.

A friend asked me to watch “Get Back Up” by Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October. An artist, musician, father, husband, addict, and more, it was tough to watch in certain parts. But Justin illustrated at one point in rehab how came to grasp what he described as a sign from God. He’d been asking God for a sign, and couldn’t seem to sense it all while suffering through his many addictions. As he was sitting on a porch pleading for such things a pesky bee kept buzzing him. The bee would periodically fly smack-dab into a can of Raid wasp and bee spray.

Think about that.

The bee would buzz Justin and then fly headlong into the can of Raid. Over and over and over. Justin describes thinking to himself, that the contents of that can would kill him. Why would the bee do it over and over? …And that was Justin’s “Aha” moment. God tapped him on the forehead and he paid attention, finally. That was a sign I don’t think I’d consider subtle. A few of the times I think I should be connecting the dots are quite subtle, though.

Chronically behind in my shop as always, I was in a rush to get a bunch of painting done. I typically hook my phone into the big stereo I have in the back with a monster sub and tower speakers, crank it, and work hard as long as it takes. I usually listen to alternative metal to speed and motivate the process. Today I stopped for a moment of prayer.

Heavy on my mind was a problem we’re having with a child, and my prayer turned to God’s burden. If the weight of one child’s choices and mistakes can be so heavy for me to lift, I question if my muscles can hold out, what must it be for God to bear billions of sinners messing up their lives every second of every day since the serpent? Only He can do that. And what a lift that must be. To have created a thing only to have it turn on Him often and with delight… Ugh. Then, after my prayer, I wondered if I had been pondering that correctly.

I hit the play button on my random playlist and AEnema by Tool came on first. If you’re a Tool fan, you’ve already connected the dots. For those you who need help, I’ll offer some of the lyrics to seed the point:

Some say the end is near. Some say we’ll see Armageddon soon. I certainly hope we will. I sure could use a vacaction from this #$%^ three-ring circus sideshow of freaks.

AEnema – Tool (first verse)

It goes on… (I removed the poor language just as above.)

Here in this hopeless $&#@! hole we call L.A., the only way to fix it is to flush it all away. Any $&#@! time, any $&#@! day. Learn to swim, I’ll see you down in Arizona Bay.

Fret for your figure, and fret for your latte, and fret for your lawsuit, and fret for your hairpiece, and fret for your Prozac, and fret for your pilot, and fret for your contract, and fret for your car. It’s a #$%^ three-ring circus sideshow of freaks.

AEnema – Tool (chorus and verse)

You might think it was random, given some of the music I listen to in order to focus and push through an extremely hot shop. When I’m painting the kiln is going, so the temperature climbs extremely high very quickly. …And you sweat hard. I use music that pushes me to endure and do so efficiently. Would it be a stretch to assume I’d hear something come along that was critical? Nope. But for me, it shored up the idea that we’re messing this thing up and the end is beginning at some point. There are some schools of thought that point to it having already started. I’m not handy enough with the full context of the book of Revelation to hold a firm opinion on the “when” but I’m firmly in the camp of it not being an “if” equation…

Do I think I received a sign or a traditional, according to Hoyle, communication from the Lord? No, not really. But I do think the reminder wasn’t lost on me. I had considered God’s burden and sacrifice for us, only to have us routinely offer Him denial and disrespect. Then I flipped on the music box, and of the literal thousands of songs in that speed metal playlist, one that embodied the fowl nature of man and the end, plays? It gave me pause, that I can say with no doubt.

We’re ugly, but we can be less ugly. In fact, we can be both salt and light. I pray it be so…

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