I love cover songs. I just discovered a cover of 99 Red Balloons (regionally by Nena) on Spotify by Sleeping at Last. I love how artists take the original lyrics of the song and makes them their own. Sometimes they change the tempo, sometimes they change the rhythm, sometimes the there is a key change, and other times they change the way the vocals are sung.Sometimes they do all of it.
But when you hear a song covered by a new artist, you hear something that reminds you of the original artist, and yet you are compelled again to something that feels new. its the same song and yet it feels. Sometime has played it in a way that speaks to you in a new way. You are reintroduced to something great and inspiring and fun and deep.
There is something that happens when we create something completely unique, but there is something else that happens when we recreate something. We mold it and bend it and shape it until it becomes less a part of the person who created it and more a part of us.
One of my favorite passages in Deuteronomy comes just after the Ten Commandments. God charges his people to mark the commandments on their doorposts and to tie them to their hands. He even says bind them to your foreheads. My forehead? Really? I have never heard anyone fuss about not reading that verse literally. He tells his people to talk about the commandments. When? When you are walking and eating and when you lay down and when you get up. When? All the time.
But this isn’t because God wants us to be robots, speaking of nothing else. He want’s us to be cover songs. He wants these commands to be part of us like they are part of him. He says, “live these out so they become a part of you.” He wants the tempo and rhythm and key, and message to be lived out in our life.
I think that we miss that all too often. We feel like God restricts us too much. Some of his notes are just too hard to play. But what he desires is for us to make his message our own. That we can live it in our context, in our way, with our unique intricacies and eccentricities. And when we do, people will be reminded of the original artist but also compelled to something new. Its the same song, it just feels different.