On the way to work this morning I flipped on the car radio and a few seconds later the new single from Eminem hit the airwaves. I turned it up, loud, and head nodded all the way to work.
There is just something about Eminem that has always intrigued me. Somehow, even when he’s rapping about burning some chic’s house down my internal self is fist pumping. Why? Not that I agree with everything he’s saying, but rather I agree with the way he’s saying it.
People of conviction are captivating and Eminem happens to be extremely convicted about being angry. He stands for something. He’s pretty much the poster child for all the millions of kids who have come from crappy home lives, who never had a relationship with their dad, who’ve been down a dark road and who are angry because of it.
To be honest, God used Eminem’s song this morning to remind me of some important truths. When I got to work I pulled up his latest album and listened to the whole thing – minus a few songs that did in fact cross the line in terms of what I’m willing to fill my head with. I realized I have a lot to learn a lot from Eminem. Take his song “Not Afraid” for example:
Yeah, It’s been a ride…
I guess I had to go to that place to get to this one
Now some of you might still be in that place
If you’re trying to get out, just follow me
I’ll get you there
I’m not afraid to take a stand
Everybody come take my hand
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just let you know that, you’re not alone
Holla if you feel that you’ve been down the same road
Eminem knows how to lead people. Not that I want to follow him where he happens to be going, but I see why people do follow him, so to speak. He’s telling their story. He’s living out their reality. He’s offering to walk with them through their circumstances (through his music).
Sometimes I find it so tempting to want to gloss over all my mistakes, all my shortcomings and all my wounds both large an small. It’s easy to feel good about myself when I feel like I’m a little less messed up than the next guy. But who’s really benefitting from my frantic attempts to appear so put together? Who can relate to that?
Eminem got this part right: The power of a testimony. The influence of being a step or two ahead of someone in something they’re struggling with.
But he is missing something key: Solutions. All of Eminem’s songs talk about ways of coping, but there are never any good solutions to his problems.
That’s why I follow Jesus, The Healer. He offers to walk through it all with us AND offers to wipe us clean and give us a new start.
So I pray that God would give me an opportunity to share my story with someone today. I have a better one than Eminem does.
Gosh, wouldn’t his music be the absolute coolest if he found an answer for all that pain and frusteration? Yeah, that would be really cool.