The Great Joke

This is from C.S. Lewis, who, I know, I quote way too often. I should pretty much just rename this blog ‘C.S. Lewis as According to U2……with Delay.’ So, my apologies. (Notice how I just referred to myself as U2. hehe And I might have gotten away with it too, had I not mentioned it right now. Blast my asphyxiation with parenthetical commentaries!) But, he talks about this crazy thing that’s been in my mind lately. That we are so almost laughably small and inadequate, and are always running around trying to make ourselves look or feel bigger or worth more than the next small and inadequate person running around trying to make themselves feel bigger or worth more than the next small and inadequate person running around trying……and on and on it goes. And The Great Joke, according to Lewis, is that we really are small and inadequate. We’re always trying to find self-worth, or what in Christian circles we’ve started to cleverly refer to as ‘God-worth’, which most often (at least in my life), only differs from self-worth in that, instead of deriving my self-worth from myself, I derive my self-worth from God. It’s still wanting to feel better about oneself. When the point is , rather than always trying to build our self-esteem up, to realize that we are, in fact, quite small, and quite inadequate……and that God loves us anyway. And that is The Great Joke. That we don’t have to pretend anymore! We don’t have to run around trying to play the fastest sweep picking phrygian scale, or write the best worship song, or have the best tone, or the most delay pedals (hehe), or trying to build ourselves up so that we can live with ourselves. There’s this huge freedom in accepting that we’re really, really small, and that that is okay! We need to learn to laugh at ourselves…to shift our whole perspective to a place where we are okay with being small, because God loves us; rather than the other way around…using God’s love for us to make us feel good about ourselves.

Now, there will be some kickback here that we are not worthless, and that the Psalms does in fact call us ‘fearfully and wonderfully made.’ And that is true. God does help us out by pointing us towards some sense of self-worth. Nothing wrong with that. But I believe the eventual goal is to get to a place where we are shifting our perspective completely towards Him. Where we can only see ourselves in comparison to Him; and that makes us pretty small. And then eventually, reading something like ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’, and having our first thought be to how incredible God is to make something ‘wonderful’. It’s shifting our focus off of ourselves, and onto Him. We’re really, really small. And He doesn’t ask us to raise our perspective of ourselves. Being small is okay; because He loves us anyway. And rather than taking that love and thinking how great we are that He would love us even though we’re small, we need to realize how incredible He is to love something as small as us…and revel in it.

All this came about because I ran across an old post I had written, that just totally puts us tonehead gear junkies into perspective. Well, and the sobering thought that I’ve probably killed more worship experiences in my time with mistakes and D/D# chords, than I could ever even count. haha But this is the website. And it is wonderful. Be sure to click on the digital modeling one with soundclips:

Rad Monkey Cowbells

Sorry, I had to end with that because one, it is stupendous. And two, because I’m a little uncomfortable going that theological in my posts. Sure, I’d do that every day……if there weren’t 8 billion other blogs doing it. And probably doing it much better. I like to stick to the more practical nuts and bolts of worshiping God through music and life, here at this blog. But every once in a while…well…there ya go.


30 thoughts on “The Great Joke

  1. Hey… don’t suppose your attention was brought back to the rad monkey post because I commented on it yesterday?


    Great post man.

  2. Great post Karl.

    God’s love is so amazing and despite the fact that we (everyone in the world) are so inadequate, so small, so insignificant and so unworthy He loves us anyway.

  3. Jacob–haha Absolutely! All the credit is yours for this one. I had totally forgotten about that, and then when I realized that my link in that post was broken, I figured…this is too hilarious not to have a link to it on my site. haha

    Sam–thanks, bro. And I agree…His love is amazing! :)

  4. Pingback: The 'Your True Worth' Blog - Helping You Overcome Self-Esteem & Confidence Issues: A Little Give & Take «

  5. Cool post,
    and the cowbells…

    I literary laughed out loud at this one:
    “Cowbellists around the world are turning to Rad Monkey Electric Cowbells…”

    Wish someone could start a Cowbellforworship-blog and discuss Amps and Effects (Fuzz on a cowbell, hmmm)

  6. what also funny is if you replaced all the words about cowbells with stuff about guitars/amp/pedals it would make perfect sense and look like a normal pedal company website.

  7. Anonymous–thanks. :)

    Ben–lol That would be awesome!!

    Scott–thanks, brother. Mine too…although you wouldn’t know that from talking with me, lol. 😀 Unfortunately. Working on it, though!

    Nater2–lol You’re so right, bro!

  8. So if I’m understanding you right, you’re (and C. S. Lewis) are saying that if my pedal board isn’t two stories, it’s okay? 😉 Great post, Karl. It is amazing how when we except being small our lives change for the better.

    PS I don’t think I can justify buy one of those cowbells yet. Maybe if I keep practicing I’ll get good enough to justify buying one of those.

  9. Jed–well, that is what I’m saying…ripped off from Lewis ( 😉 )…but, if you’re pedalboard isn’t two stories, there are other issues in your life. hehehe Just kidding!!! :) Seriously. Kidding.

    But in real seriousness, I love what you said about accepting our lives as small. I totally agree.

    And I’m not so sure about that digital modeling cowbell myself. I’m more of a plugged-straight-in cowbell type guy.

    Seth J–haha No worries! It always makes for a fun game for me to see if I can figure out who it was. hehe

  10. Karl, I don’t know if you’ve seen this video… but this is to dreams man….

  11. Just because I am the sort of person that likes to poke perfectly good conversations with a stick, in the hope that through all the ensuing exchange of ideas, opinions, and facts leads to having thought something through more carefully/thoroughly, I offer the following (also I won’t begrudge anyone for not wanting to read that wall of text, so don’t feel obligated :P)–

    Was talking to a (non-practicing) Jewish friend of mine a while back about views of the nature of man. What I essentially said is similar to what you are expressing– humans are ultimately quite worthless and far from ideal, but are made incredibly valuable thanks to the great value placed upon them by a infinitely worthy and perfect God. Her response was that Christian’s view of humanity is even more depressing than what she grew up with (Jewish). I don’t think she heard much about the God placing value part.

    All that to say sometimes I think we (Christians, or myself at very least) talk/think a lot about our smallness and sinfulness and maybe not quite enough about our incredible value. We each carry the very image of God, and there’s of course that whole Jesus suffered and died for us thing. But even on top of that, God cares enough about people that He sends rain in its season, even on the unjust, even though He doesn’t have to. He paints sunrises and sunsets, gives us the music we all love etc etc etc. And if God cares that much about people’s, even the unjust’s, hunger and enjoyment and everything in between, maybe we should care just as much. Are we still small and insignificant? Well, of course. Can’t there be a both/and?

    I don’t know, I just think that Christian’s view of humanity isn’t/shouldn’t be depressing, and if my best explanations seem depressing, perhaps the way I think is worth taking a second look.

    Again, not meaning to correct you, or imply that you wrong, or don’t think people are valuable (heck, you’re like the kindest person I know), but just seeing what turns up. Thoughts?

  12. i love c.s. of my fav authors and that point hits home with musicians for sure. we constantly try to “keep up with the jone’s” when it is truly only about pointing to Him.

    on another note…just as bad…well…worse.

    want to turn your beautiful %13 into a solidstate..

    your gonna roll over in your futuristic grave sir!

  13. I’m confused as to what they are? He made solidstate tubes? Or are they tubes just not glass vaccuum?

    That guys mullet gives me goosebumps it’s so awesome…

  14. Ben G–how’d you get into my head and read my dreams?! haha

    Rapha–I actually thought you made a very well-stated and thought out argument. It was beautiful. I have some disagreements of course ( 😉 ), but at your request I’ll leave it alone. But great comment!

    Cory–haha Sounds like it came out of great intentions, but the reason a tube wears out is also the same reason it sounds so good…because we’re pushing it and misusing it. Safe to say, I’m pretty not gonna buy that! hehe

    Nater2–yep! Me too.

    Ben G–lol Didn’t even notice, but you’re so right!!

    Chris–haha I wouldn’t know…I’m still in the ‘twitter is a fad’ camp. hehe

    Craig–yes! That was awesome, bro! Nope, Lewis simply can never be quoted too much. 😀

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