Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The MC of Antiquity

Break their teeth in their mouth, O God!
         Break out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD!
Let them flow away as waters which run continually;
         When he bends his bow,
         Let his arrows be as if cut in pieces.
Let them be like a snail which melts away as it goes,
         Like a stillborn child of a woman, that they may not see the sun. Psalm 58: 6-8

Today’s Reading: Psalms 57-59; Romans 4

Ohhh buddy! David sure is mad.

If you remember back to when we were reading Samuel you’ll remember that David had a whole lot to be mad about. The King STAYED trying to kill him. He pursued him to the point where David had to leave town, collect a militia from the unsavory elements of society, and live in caves till Saul died.

But good grief! Look at what he said up there. It’s beautifully written, but pretty dreadful. The best line is this:

Let them be like a snail which melts away as it goes,
Like a stillborn child of a woman, that they may not see the sun. Psalms 58:8


But you know what. This Psalm is actually very healthy.

Yes I know that probably sounds strange but hear me out. Remember during the story of David when he was dodging Saul’s attacks? He had several opportunities to kill him but he refused. Didn’t you wonder how he was able to refuse taking revenge? I know I did.

This is how. He put pen to paper. He was able to release the pain and anger in a constructive way. Instead of destroying his king by the sword, he released his anger through poetry and song.

I bet David would be a legendary rapper if he was alive today. Just as David spit his venom on page many of the MCs that I grew to love during my childhood did the same thing with their songs. They avoided the realities of their neighborhood by channeling them into art that would allow them to escape those realities. When I was a kid I used writing as my escape too. Poetry was my therapist and the pad and pen were the couch where I gave voice to my feelings.

Sometimes there are things about our reality that we cannot control and that can be infuriating. We can choose to deal with them in constructive or destructive ways. But before we seek revenge or act out on our feelings it is best to try to channel that negative energy into something positive. For people like me, rappers, and David it was writing. For others it has been therapy, creating art, cooking, talking to a loved, martial arts and other creative and social endeavors.

Find what allows your soul to sing and express yourself. If we can find that release then maybe we’ll be like David when the true test comes. Maybe we’ll have the strength to forgive when we have the power to exact revenge. 

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