Several times in my life, I’ve felt strongly convicted about addressing a personal issue. I’m no different than anyone else in that sometimes a barrier of some kind keeps me from moving forward. The choices we make in those moments can have a lasting impact for the rest of our life.
One such occasion occurred my junior year of college. I attended Cedarville University in Ohio, a Christian liberal-arts college of about 2,000 students at the time of my enrollment. As part of our program, each student was required to attend chapel services each day along with the occasional special event, such as a lectureship series or revival meeting. During one of these special events, I became convicted of something that many would call irrelevant and only a minor issue.
To me it was big deal though…made bigger when I realized what it would cost me.
Like many college students of the time, I had amassed a quality collection of CDs. (For all you teenagers and early 20-somethings out there, I’m not talking about bank CDs. Music used to be digitally embedded on a disc like the ones you put in your PS3. We didn’t have music files downloaded straight to a phone or iPad. Just thought you’d like to know how rough we had it. And don’t even ask our parents how they listened to music…you don’t want to know.)
My collection wasn’t extravagant but did include some of the best secular talent of the times. And I really enjoyed listening to it, perhaps a bit too much. During one particular revival meeting, I became convicted that my music, and the subtle messages it filled my brain with, were keeping me from moving forward in my faith.
Now comes the decision. I clearly felt called to rid myself of my secular music collection. But what to do with it? After a night of reflection, three possible avenues emerged.
I could ignore my conviction and keep my music.
I could sell it.
I could trash it.
There were many in my dorm that would have loved to pick up some U2 or The Boss on the cheap. And I could have made several hundred dollars going the CD-garage sale route. Something about that though made my skin crawl. It felt dirty, almost as though I was profiting from a spiritual awakening.
So I chose to trash them.
And to make sure no one went dumpster diving after dark to scavenge for my collection, (and to make sure I didn’t have a change of heart and retrieve them myself) I sliced the backing of each one with a knife before I pitched them. (Again for the younger crowd, scratching the back of a music CD makes it inoperable because the laser can’t read it properly.)
This may seem really weird and I’m sure you’re thinking, “What’s the big deal about music?” I get it. Perhaps that’s a discussion for another time. But, in that moment I knew it was the right call. Following my conviction vastly outweighed the value of that music.
Ever give something up because it was blocking progress in your life? What was your favorite 80s or 90s musician?
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