We are gathered here today
2 get through this thing called life
Electric word, life
It means forever and that’s a mighty long time
But I’m here 2 tell u
There’s something else:
A world of never ending happiness
U can always see the sun, day or night
So when u call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
U know the one – Dr Everything’ll Be Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby
‘Cuz in this life
Things are much harder than in the afterworld
In this life
You’re on your own
I cannot believe that the artist formerly known as Prince (or is he known as that again?) has any concept of the true God of the universe. But these words sure nailed me down this morning. This is what the Genesis account of the Fall is all about.
Think about it. Adam walked in the cool of the day with God. And then after his wife disobeyed when he was supposed to be in charge of his new family, they were evicted from the Garden. This wasn’t just an awesome park they had to leave, like having to exit the Royal Gardens at closing time; no, they were kicked out of the presence of God. That’s what the Fall was all about.
We’re on our own. Alone. We were created social beings, and loneliness drives many people to do what they would never do otherwise. Yet the simplest rules of engagement are impossible to keep. Being friendly should be one of the easiest things to do, especially since the base desire of every single person’s heart is to be loved. But that one disobedience doomed us all to a lifetime of striving for what we can never truly achieve. We chose to act on our own decisions, so alone we shall be.
The only real solution is to repent, to realize that we are not capable of accomplishing anything truly on our own. Only then will we be reunited with the One we really want. If we ever realize that it’s Him we’re looking for. I’ve often heard that people are created with a God-shaped hole that no food, person, or activity can ever fill.
The fact that God spoke to me through Prince cements the fact that He is in control. He created Prince, too, and his agile mind knows the truth, regardless of whether he recognizes it or not. My favorite part of the entire Bible is when the Chief Priest announces the death penalty on Jesus: “Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” (John 11:50) Caiaphas has no idea that his pronouncement just explained exactly what Jesus really came to do. His position as a speaker of influence was used in spite of his own personal motives. None of us can get away from God; regardless of how intelligent and capable we are, we are still bound by laws and forces outside our control. It is readily apparent that I’m not all there is in the world. I have not one prayer of being able to control it, yet it is very obviously in control. Everything is so ordered and predictable that the concept of chance is negated.
I am merely a shadow of something much larger and more intelligent than humanity – which is what the Bible says:
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Gen. 1:27)
I must recognize my own limitations and that of other humans – science, philosophy, or anything else in Creation – will be fruitless. I must recognize that trusting to my own abilities is exactly the sin that Adam and Eve committed, yet I read that Jesus paid the price for my part in that original sin. I have therefore been redeemed and will be admitted back into the garden at the party to end all parties. I must merely hang tight until He comes to pick me up. Because we do have a date.
After a refrain that makes absolutely no sense with what these two verses say, Prince finishes off his song with these prophetic words:
Dr. Everything’ll Be Alright
Will make everything go wrong
Pills and thrills and dafodills will kill.
Hang tough children
Take me away!
– “Let’s Go Crazy”