The original title of this post was “To Whom Are You Listening?” That title is so boring that I didn’t even want to read what followed. I needed a compelling metaphor to explain this concept. So I decided to go with what I know.
If you listen to hip-hop like me (and if you don’t, you should) then you understand that the beat driving the song determines the movement of my body as the listener. If the beat is slow and rhythmic, then my dance moves will tend to be slower and more rhythmic. If I’m busting a move to the latest John Legend, then my moves will be slow and consistent. If I’m cruising down Trade St. to some other slow jams, then I’ll be slowing bobbing my head to the cadence of the beat. However, If I’m jamming to the latest Lecrae; which has a much faster cadence and inconsistent rhythm, then my movements will follow a similar pattern.
I have come to realize that my everyday movements are driven by a beat as well. The steps I take and the decisions I make are determined by what song I’m listening to at the moment. Am I listening to a track written by those around me? Or am I trying my best to be tuned in to the song that God is composing? God’s song is much more like a John Legend track. There is consistency, a slower pace, and the lyrics are understandable.
However, when I start listening to the songs of everyone around me, then I become the one on the dance floor making a frenzied fool of himself—giving it all I’ve got, but clearly demonstrating that I have no rhythm at all.
Lots of people are trying to write the soundtrack for 801South currently. As the leader, I have to decide if people’s suggestions are an instrument in God’s great symphony or if they are just pushing their own (well-intentioned) agenda; which does not have a place in this song.
I would bet that several people are trying to write the soundtrack for your life as well.
I have to choose who’s mixing my beat every single day. Will I tune in and turn up the volume of God’s song for my life? Or will I be distracted by everybody else carrying their boom box on their shoulders and trying to get me to dance to their song instead?
What about you? Who mixes the beat for your marriage? For your parenting style? For your study habits as a student? For your other relationships? Just like composing music (or dancing), figuring out who you are and what steps you should take is an art. I’m still honing that art in my life. I’m discovering there is a lot more “follow your gut” than I am comfortable with.
People are genuinely trying to be helpful in offering their suggestions and we naturally look around for ideas while comparing ourselves to others. But eventually, we have to make sure the ideas and suggestions of others fit with the original tune. If not, we have to hit the mute button.
So who’s mixing your beats?