I was driving to work recently while listening to my favorite pop music station (yes, pop is one of the many kinds of music I listen to). One of the songs currently in rotation is a radio edit of Mike Posner’s, I Took A Pill in Ibiza, (SeeB remix version). It’s upbeat in an EDM sort of way, but the words are haunting. The acoustic version is just haunting.
The song talks about taking drugs to impress fellow musicians, buying cars and clothes to project his status as “a real big baller,” fame, the inability to open up to people and the hollowness of it all.
In the chorus he sings:
But you don’t wanna be high like me
Never really knowing why like me
You don’t ever wanna step off that roller coaster
And be all alone
You don’t wanna ride the bus like this
Never knowing who to trust like this
You don’t wanna be stuck up on that stage singing
Stuck up on that stage singing
All I know are sad songs, sad songs
Darling, all I know are sad songs, sad songs
As I listened I reflected on Posner’s words. His confession that the drugs, the partying, the highs and lows of fame, the money and women left him with nothing more than sad songs.
All those things so many people in the world crave and chase, that ultimately are not satisfying. It reminded me of Ecclesiastes 1 and 2 and Solomon’s warning that “all is vanity.” By the end of Ecclesiastes, Solomon concludes that without living for God all is meaningless and futile.
As a Christian, my reaction to the song was empathy and compassion for Posner’s (presumably) lost soul and more broadly for everyone else who is lost.
I was also reminded of the fact that this is why we, as believers, cannot live like monks closed off to the unbelievers of the world. We are to be the proclaimers of the gospel and ambassadors of Christ telling people of the hope and peace that is available to them. And we shouldn’t expect them to come to us. We are commanded to go to them.
As 2 Corinthians 11:14-21 explains, “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”