“We sat with “It’s Time” for a year or year-and-a-half. Sometimes you just have to let a song sit for awhile. “
-Dan Reynolds, Imagine Dragons
The full interview can be found here
I find that music can sometimes be so fabricated you can’t touch it. Tracks playing, other people penning the music. Lyrics can be catchy, but still and lifeless, produced in a backroom by someone who doesn’t know the artist or the story that they are trying to sing.
It took several switches today on the radio dial to find a song with some sort of message or purpose. Normally I would usually hum along to whatever Christian music was playing at the time since I had my kids in the car, but today was different. Today I needed more than manufactured fluff.
I got agitated with every rhythm and turned back and forth between the Coffee House channel and Classic Vinyl, but nothing seemed to give way. Usually Paul Simon may do it for me, but not today. No; I needed something much deeper than that…
And so a song came on that I hadn’t heard in awhile, Imagine Dragons’ “It’s Time”, whose lyrics began to remind me of a more complicated time in my life. And although I wanted to turn it off, I couldn’t. Even with the polished track, you could feel and understand the songs depth and overreaching power to remind us that we are who God created us to be.
I wondered if the song wasn’t quite so manufactured, if it was in its most raw and pure form, if it would affect me differently. I quickly found the acoustic version to test out my theory, which quickly proved true. Unadulterated and unfiltered, unmanufactured, imperfect, pure voice and rhythm, I couldn’t help but think that this was such a metaphor for the lives we live. If we could live our lives acoustically, real, no cloudiness, extras, filters, in our purest most honest form, wouldn’t the music sound so much sweeter?
I realized how afraid I was of living like that. Of continuing to expose who I am and how God is changing me. Exposing my faults, talking about my troubles and complexities. I realized just how hard it was to be a raw and honest human.
When you read or listen to the words of those people who you know are being completely honest, it reminds you how hard it was for them and that we are not alone. The song, the writing sounds different, almost uneven and uncomfortable. There are trembling voices, unsteady words, awkwardness and how could you’s. The reality is what makes us uncomfortable, or as Dan Reynolds puts it, “When a song is most honest and most raw that’s when you know you’re doing something right.”
And I want my song to be like that. I want to be like that. Completely transparent and open, not holding anything back, “Packing my bags and giving the Academy a rain check.”
I am terrified. Terrified to just be who I am, terrified I’m not good enough, terrified that maybe I’ll be a terrible failure at Christianity, for the road is oftentimes fraught with rockiness and heartache. I remembered yesterday when I asked God, no, no rather I screamed out loud, “Where the F are you??????”
But I cannot be anything else than who I am. I can’t be a boxed in Christian. I am not a saint. I am just trying to be me.