I was always a rocker. As a little kid, I used to mimic Elvis and Ricky. I would grab anything that resembled a guitar and could pantomime with the best of them. I even cut strips of paper, colored them brown, licked them and stuck them on the sides of my head to look like sideburns. Fortunately, there are no pictures.
In my late teens, I played in a rock band. My record collection (yes, records) was a reflection of that. The mother lode included Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and the Doors.
I was a rock snob. If it wasn’t rock, I didn’t listen to it. I certainly didn’t own it. Other music genres just didn’t cut it.
Then along came disco. To my friends and me, that was a bastardization of all things music. We had t-shirts that announced, “Disco Sucks.” Pardon me for getting a tad crass, but that’s what they said.
Fast-forward about a hundred years. I’m now a gray haired, bearded, old man traveling to a gym every other day to stay alive. Guess what they play—that’s right…disco. I guess they think the beat is good for working out. So I used my iPod and ear buds.
Somewhere along the way, however, I realized I could use that workout time to read and study. So I stopped with the iPod and began taking my iPad. (I know, I could actually do both. But that would be too much like multi-tasking.) I’m getting a lot of reading in, but I’m also hearing a lot of disco.
What I’m discovering is, I can get used to almost anything. After hearing this stuff week in and week out, it’s becoming more and more tolerable. And while it will never become my favorite musical style, I can now hear it in the background and not cringe…even when it’s blasting my eardrums. (And please don’t tell any of my friends, but there are actually a few of these melodic ditties that I’ve grown to like.)
I guess what all of this proves to me is that I can be a whole lot more tolerant of things than I had ever realized. And trust me, I can be quite intolerant. I try not to show it, but it’s buried in there somewhere.
That of course, leads me to the church (doesn’t everything?). I’ve noticed over the years that my intolerance surfaces more in my churchianity than it does anywhere else.
Down and Dirty Sinning
I’m not talking about down and dirty sinning here. I’m talking about where the candles are placed, how the ushering is done, people showing up during the sermon, yada-yada-yada. You know—the really important stuff (not).
It suddenly occurs to me that if I can learn to love disco, I should be able to love my brothers and sisters despite the fact they are not always like me. We are a community after all. Are we not?