See I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame. Romans 9:33
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2a
The other day I was sent a link to the most adorable video of Down syndrome kids dancing to a popular song. Later in the day I was telling my friend Mary about it and when I named the song and the artist I mispronounced his name. She commented on the song and my mangling of his name. When I told her I’d never heard of him or the song prior to that day she was shocked. “Where have you been living?” She asked me. “Under a rock?” I laughed, not at all offended, she knows me so well, and said, no. I then explained how a lot of secular things escape my notice.
This morning that conversation came back to me as I was reading Scripture and thinking of other songs, different songs. One lyric ran through my head, “the Rock won’t move and His word is strong.” A few minutes later I was humming and realized it was, “on Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.” Hm, have I been living under a rock?
I guess I would still say no to that question but perhaps I’ve been living in the shadow of one. My explanation to Mary was that I listen to AirOne, KLove, and occasionally oldies stations, none of which would play the song I’d never heard. Nor do I watch late night television where apparently this hot new artist is a regular. Who knew? I guess the answer to that is, everyone but me.
Thinking of it all that way I suppose her assessment wasn’t far off. We often hear the expression to be in the world but not of it. I believe that is what Paul is referring to in Romans 12:2. If I were conformed to this world, to the music and trends of the day I would have known how to pronounce the young man’s odd name. I would already have been tormented by his song, which as it turns out is quite popular in the world of advertising.
Earlier today I asked my son Joseph if he’d seen the video. I knew it would bring back memories for him of his time in the special needs classroom where we both worked. He said he had and loved it, except that song which he doesn’t care for and had lodged in his brain. “It’s in just about every commercial on TV.” He told me. I think he was as surprised as Mary when I told him that I hadn’t heard it before the video but I did agree with him, it’s definitely earworm material.
Maybe I’ll miss something good along the way but thankfully I have people like Mary, my children and my other more connected friends to apprise me of anything truly noteworthy. Honestly I prefer to live the way I do, in joyful ignorance to most of what goes on in the secular world. The shadow of the Rock may keep me out of the loop, culturally speaking, but it also keeps me safe and connected to the real source of all life.