By Li Haaj
If you’re into bands like Sonic Youth, Soul Asylum, Motorhead, Cancerous Growth, The Mighty Lemondrops, Black Flag, and others that 99% of the world never heard of … If you’re cynical, rebellious, in question of authority, obsessed with the color black, everything but ordinary and in love with Budweiser … I bet you can’t even imagine what life would be like any other way. It’s so much a part of your everyday life, you need to be this way to live.
It had taken me years to get to this point, where I was “in with the in crowd,” on the guest list of every club in Boston and had my own radio show. And then – BANG! – nothing mattered anymore. It seemed to come at a time when I was just bordering on the step of getting in over my head – once again.
The underground world of Rock & Roll is a place where strangers eyeball each other yet never speak. It’s a constant exchange of names and places and faces. It always seems like you’re not where you want to be … like there’s one more step to complete the picture, one more missing link before reaching that ultimate place in the hierarchy of “cool” … where you have to gain what you get.
But don’t you ever get sick and tired of the games and scenarios? The constant striving to get a break? How much do you have to go through to feel like it’s all worth it? Did you ever feel burnt out from it all and just want some peace? But you’ve already learned, there is no peace in this world, and there will never be, and nuclear disarmament isn’t going to change things. So you just live life on the edge.
Did you ever get so high you didn’t think you’d come back? Did you ever wake up and wonder what you did the night before? Did you ever get really scared while tripping? Did you really enjoy those feelings?
All of this used to be a part of my life every day, but not anymore. Somebody changed me, everything about me, and my values. What in the world would stop me from continuing on this path? What in the world made me not desire these pleasures anymore? Nothing in this world that I could figure. But I knew inside that it was the power of God.
I used to plot and plan what my next move would be in this life, and I thought I was always one step ahead of the rest. But I learned something really important – God had a plan for me! I didn’t have to worry and think about what to do next. All I had to do was trust in Him.
Well I did trust in Him, slowly but surely, and I began reading His Word (the Bible). You know, there is so much in there. Real excitement and drama, with real results, not just entertainment. I still went to clubs, but after a while, they didn’t enchant me like they used to. And I didn’t want to waste any more of my money on drinking, when all it did was bring me down.
I looked in the Yellow Pages for a church to go to so I could investigate this Jesus further. I found a church in the North End called the Boston Worship Center – I even liked the name, kind of generic.
I walked in one Sunday morning, all dressed in black, and a really nice guy greeted me. I sat down and was ready to listen. Then the pastor began praying and something came all over me in an overwhelming way – the power of the Holy Spirit. One of the girls there put her arm around me and began praying the words I would have loved to pray, but was too scared and confused even to speak.
That day I gave my life to Jesus Christ and it was the greatest thing I’ve ever done. Better than hanging out with U2 back in 1983, better than mingling with Andy Warhol at a New York party, better than smoking cigarettes with Mick Jones and Joe Strummer back in 1982, better than discussing tennis with Elvis Costello (and the Attractions), better than having back stage passes for the Talking Heads and the Del Fuegos and so many other bands and famous personalities.
If you can only understand that Jesus really loves us, you and me both. He doesn’t operate on society’s systems of success and failure. He wants to take away our feelings of negativity, pessimism, self-centeredness, and a futile outlook on the future. If He didn’t do this for me, why would I take the time to write this to you?
There is peace and happiness to be found, but we’re so used to working for it and searching high and low for it, that it’s hard to believe it’s right at our fingertips, and the tip of our tongue. Take a minute and talk to Jesus. He’s right there for you – 24 hours a day, whenever you need Him or are ready to accept Him. He’s the one person who won’t let you down.
Think about it, friends your own age have died. What’s going to happen to you when you die? Talk it over with Jesus – just let Him know what you’re feeling. Take it from me, it’s the best decision you’ll ever make. I know, ‘cause I was just like you.