I don’t think One Republic meant their song to be taken the way I’ve interpreted it for my own life and Jesus year. Jokes on them.
"Counting Stars" is a song where the chorus talks about feeling wrong doing the right thing and feeling right doing the wrong thing. I’m guessing in rock star speak that means the debauchery that comes along with rock star life is not right, but it sure does feel good. Maybe it goes deeper than that and I’m wrong, but this song hit a chord for me because it’s very accurate when applied to the Christian life. If you live “the right way” according to the world, it should feel spectacularly wrong and if you live the “wrong way” it should feel right. Follow so far?
As Christians, we are called to take up our cross and die, every single day. Die to self. Die to personal wants and desires. Die to everything. Christ inhabits us. We follow. Everything that kills me makes me feel alive? That should pretty much be how all Christians feel. Anything that kills me and my self-absorbed desires should make me feel alive because it means I’m living in Christ. The most alive I feel is when I am focused on Christ. He forces me to look outside myself where I find all these places He wants me to be and all these things I’m supposed to be doing. He also makes me sit still. I can’t do any of those things effectively when I’m living for me.
According to the world, the right thing is to look out for number one and pursue our own desires, our own happiness, build ourselves up, work on self-promotion. According to the Lord, no. There’s a reason we were asked to take up a cross, a tool for execution, to follow Christ and not just told to pack a bag with all our things. Following Christ is going to kill us, for sure on the inside, and sometimes we will give over our physical lives for it. But that should feel right. “Everything that drowns me makes me wanna fly.”
And I want to drown in my commitment to Christ, to be washed over by my love for Him. I want to say, “Yes, I have never felt more alive now that I am dead to sin and living in Christ!” I want that daily. When the selfish desires and human reactions kick in, I want Christ fighting within me to beat them down. If it looks wrong to the world, that’s okay. If it looks right to God, that’s what I’m going for.
Now when I hear this song I usually blast it and belt out the chorus. Again, a secular song that has become a born-again anthem for a crazy suburban mom in a minivan. Oh, well. If it looks wrong to the world, I’m probably good.