Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Coachella Musings - Installment 1

Coachella 2008. What an amazing experience!

Polo grounds in the middle of the desert. 97 degrees, hot hot sunshine. 40,000+ people. Music (loud!), art, food, water (lots), more music, and a festive, clean, absolutely fun environment.

Only problem; I felt 25 years too old. And I was. By my estimation, and that of the friends and kids we were with, the averate age of attendance at Coachella 2008 was about 23, with a median age of just a bit older. That would, by a long shot, make me one of the oldest of Old Farts in attendance. But really, who cares? I had a blast!

Now, some folks of my faith persuasion might say that this whole three day music festival is an exercise in futility. God-forsaken music, meaningless art, and a bunch of poorly bathed and tattooed young people. Godless. Lost. Forsaken. But not me.

About 2,000 years ago, the Apostle Paul was confronted with a similar situation, as he visited Athens (Acts 17):

22-23So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them. "It is plain to see that you Athenians take your religion seriously. When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, to the god nobody knows. I'm here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you're dealing with.

24-29"The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn't live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn't take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don't make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near. We live and move in him, can't get away from him! One of your poets said it well: 'We're the God-created.' Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn't make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?

We are the "God-created" indeed! All of us. All of us there last Friday in Coachella, basking in the sun, enjoying the sounds and sights. We are all, in our own way, searching for meaning. Even in the desert at a music festival, that is what is happening. We are looking, searching, trying to find those magic moments that bring meaning to our lives.

As Exhibit I from Coachella, I present you with John Butler, of the John Butler Trio. What a wonderful example of something God-created.

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