I love finding (or creating) deeper meaning in mainstream music. (you might remember my Taylor Swift analysis) Especially when songs are about love, music just tends to make me contemplate faith and my mind starts wandering to Scripture, the Catechism, and the lives of the saints. Maybe it’s because God is love. Just a theory.
One song that’s gotten lots of air time lately is “Budapest” by George Ezra. It’s a sweet love song about giving up everything for the person you love. Ezra swears he’ll give up acres of land, artifacts, treasures, and even his house in the namesake Budapest for his beloved. *swoon* While the song totally appeals to my romantic side, every time I hear it, I can’t help but think of a similar story with a slightly different ending.
In Matthew 19:16-22, we read the well known passage about a rich young man who approached Jesus with a very important question. Let’s take a look:
“Now someone approached him and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.”
Granted, the passage doesn’t say that the young man never gave away his prized possessions, but from what we do know, he definitely struggled with this challenge from Jesus. The song and this Bible passage lead me to think – would I be able to give up my most valuable things if Christ called me to? Do I love Him enough, like the love described in “Budapest”, to leave it all? I’d like to think that I could, but honestly, it would be a real struggle. Sure I could give up my iPad, my KitchenAid mixer, and my hair straightener. I can get by without those. But our beautiful new home? (in Texas, not Budapest) Our savings account? Heaven forbid, my husband or daughter? Oof. There’s where I cringe. Detachment is tough.
I’m also reminded of Matthew 4:18-22 where Jesus calls the first Apostles. He approaches Peter, Andrew, James, and John while they’re fishing on the Sea of Galilee and asks them to join Him. The passage says that “immediately” and “at once” they drop what they’re doing and follow. Again, could I do that? Am I willing to put my faith in God to the point of making a quick radical change in my life to follow His call? Something to definitely think about.
One last thought is about the final verse of the song where Ezra sings, “My friends and family, they don’t understand. They fear they’d lose so much if you take my hand.” Again this is talking about a romantic relationship, but how true is this also of a deep relationship with Christ? Besides our own personal fears, often times our loved ones are hesitant about our faith and relationship with God. Especially when we get extremely passionate and boldly live it out. And if this relationship with God causes extreme changes and conversion in our life, it can freak people out. But like the Apostles, we must be ready to go where God calls, even if it means that our friends and family might not understand.
…are you willing to leave it all?