Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Theology in Avenue Q?

Last night, I saw the musical Avenue Q at the Durham Performing Arts Center.

Let me give a disclaimer right now. This musical is positively bursting with inappropriate humor. If you are sensitive to cursing, sexual innuendo, or ethnic jokes, don't go see this. And sweet fancy Moses don't take your children to see it.

But don't worry, this blog isn't dealing with the offensive parts of Avenue Q. I'll get to that later. :) I had seen this musical in high school and have owned the soundtrack for years now, so I wasn't surprised by anything that happened, but part of the final song caught my attention in a way it hadn't before.

The song is called "For Now." The song is basically summed up in this line: "Everything in life is only for now." But the part that struck me this time around goes like this:

Everyone's a little bit unsatisfied
Everyone goes 'round a little empty inside

It's almost depressing to hear that. And in the context of the musical, it is. Avenue Q basically concludes, "Things might suck right now, but it's only temporary. And if things are going well, that's temporary too. Oh well."

That's fine for a comical musical involving furry puppets. But I can't help seeing a beautiful, painful parallel with the life of faith.

We all are a little unsatisfied. We are a little empty. Those lines hit me not primarily because they're sad but because they're true. It's part of the human condition—the part where God can get to us.

Perhaps the most obvious summary of this is C. S. Lewis' widely used quotation from Mere Christianity: "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." Our emptiness is not an end in itself; it has a purpose in and toward God.

An even more eloquent response is a song by folk musician David Wilcox called "What the Lonely Is For." Here are the lyrics to the chorus, and be sure to take a listen below:

When I get lonely
That's only a sign
Some room is empty
That room is there by design
If I feel hollow
That's just my proof that there's more for me to follow
That's what the lonely is for


1 comments:

Jamie said...

yay david wilcox!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Theology in Avenue Q?

Last night, I saw the musical Avenue Q at the Durham Performing Arts Center.

Let me give a disclaimer right now. This musical is positively bursting with inappropriate humor. If you are sensitive to cursing, sexual innuendo, or ethnic jokes, don't go see this. And sweet fancy Moses don't take your children to see it.

But don't worry, this blog isn't dealing with the offensive parts of Avenue Q. I'll get to that later. :) I had seen this musical in high school and have owned the soundtrack for years now, so I wasn't surprised by anything that happened, but part of the final song caught my attention in a way it hadn't before.

The song is called "For Now." The song is basically summed up in this line: "Everything in life is only for now." But the part that struck me this time around goes like this:

Everyone's a little bit unsatisfied
Everyone goes 'round a little empty inside

It's almost depressing to hear that. And in the context of the musical, it is. Avenue Q basically concludes, "Things might suck right now, but it's only temporary. And if things are going well, that's temporary too. Oh well."

That's fine for a comical musical involving furry puppets. But I can't help seeing a beautiful, painful parallel with the life of faith.

We all are a little unsatisfied. We are a little empty. Those lines hit me not primarily because they're sad but because they're true. It's part of the human condition—the part where God can get to us.

Perhaps the most obvious summary of this is C. S. Lewis' widely used quotation from Mere Christianity: "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." Our emptiness is not an end in itself; it has a purpose in and toward God.

An even more eloquent response is a song by folk musician David Wilcox called "What the Lonely Is For." Here are the lyrics to the chorus, and be sure to take a listen below:

When I get lonely
That's only a sign
Some room is empty
That room is there by design
If I feel hollow
That's just my proof that there's more for me to follow
That's what the lonely is for


1 comments:

Jamie said...

yay david wilcox!

 

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