I just returned from leading a group to Mexico during spring break to build homes for the desperately needy. It was a great week. Part of the trip involved hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of driving. To fill that time, much music was played. We had a van full of folks with varying tastes in music (mine being supreme of course), so a virtual jukebox emanated from the van as we cruised through the CA highways. I’ve always had a much more lax policy on tunes than many youth pastors. I allow kids to pretty much listen to whatever music they are into. (There are obvious exceptions, as Slayer may not be youth group appropriate). I think it is easier to get a kid to be real and get to know them by making them relax in their own environments. So for the most part, we rock out, and besides how much Newsboys can one man handle?
Each year, a song rises up from the blend of notes and harmonies of our collective Ipods and becomes our unofficial “theme” of the week. We find ourselves playing and singing it over and over. Past winners of this prestigious title have been Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”, Justin Bieber’s “Baby” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”. Obviously, it has to be a special little ditty. This year, as the trip began, we had several possibilities start to move to the head of the competition. A Skrillex and Gotye tune made a strong run, but ultimately fell shorter than Adam Levine’s new hairdo to “We Are Young” by the band fun. Before the week’s end we were screaming it at the top of our lungs every time we drove anywhere.
If you haven’t heard it, you need to spotify it right away. It has a grand, epic theatrical feel to it. The general “emotion” of it comes off as moving and inspirational. You’ll definitely not be able to get it out of your head.
The tune begins with a vague, fumbling apology in a bar. The singer is very lazily trying to atone for some past mistake he made against someone, but, when he can’t seem to find the best words, he breaks into a soaring chorus instead, basically urging them to forget the past and just live in the moment. Pianos and drums and bass roar as they boldly sing “Tonight, we are young , so let's set the world on fire' …. Trust me, it rocks
The more I listened to the song, the more fired up I felt. The chorus was all I could focus on. This idea that we are always as young as we want to be, we always have energy if we want it, we always can set this world on fire truly resonated with me.
What if we took on this sort of mindset in our faith? What if we truly believed that we could do whatever we set our minds to? How would our churches look and act differently? What if we adopted some sort of “We are Young” theology? Too many times I hear older Christians say things like “I’ve done that long enough, so it’s time to let someone else step in”. This drives me NUTS! From what I can see, nowhere does God tell us that our faith and actions are under a limited contract!
I urge us all to catch fire. Even when we are weary, remember the promises of God that we can soar on wings of eagles! Remember that we are empowered by a force greater than any! We are as young as we want to be. We can set this world on fire, and we can burn brighter…because we have the only true light.
So all who are weary in faith…I will carry you home tonight, but tomorrow is a new day. Joy comes in the morning and tomorrow….we will set the world on fire!