It’s my habit not to ride along with the trend when it comes up, and to just pick and choose and appreciate stuff when the hype is all gone.
Linkin Park was all the rage in college – I swear back in the days when all the kids (the cool ones and the ones who actually enjoyed the genre) were into the band, you’d hear ‘Crawling’ and ‘In The End’ at least twice a day. Each.
Even after Chester Bennington’s passing, I couldn’t bear to listen to both songs.. instead, the songs ‘Papercut’ and ‘Breaking The Habit’ were more prominent.
The latter was actually the first Linkin Park song I stopped my world to watch – it must have been the video that got to me first; It got me thinking, these guys are more than just the screams… and they’ve certainly grown, evolved since ‘One Step Closer’. Earned more of my respect when I learned that Mike Shinoda did a great deal in making the animation happen in the video.
First off, I find it so sad that Chester Bennington is no longer with us. Seeing how many people posted about him, and how he apparently touched so many lives with his music just makes me think that he could have helped so much more, the longer he was with us. People were actually listening to him, relating to the words the band wrote and skillfully sung (I must admit, their musical style is certainly hard-hitting, catchy, and just.. angry, the way I like it) – a far cry from how I cynically looked at them and their fans back in college.
Then again, I was as arrogant as I was cynical back in college.
I can relate to the lyrics of ‘Breaking The Habit’.
We get sucked into the lies of the world, and we are left hanging; We are left without the pleasure promised to us, and we end up more confused than ever.
What’s worse is that the voices of condemnation relentlessly tear us down, not holding up but consuming us even more ravenously. The forces of this cruel world come against whatever hopes and ambitions we have – as a full force of mechanical weaponry, tanks and rockets and missiles bearing down on crude knives and sticks – brutally reducing us to mere statistics…
…and it doesn’t stop there. As the tables are turned against you, and even if you are left suffering and stripped of all dignity, you’re slapped in the face with accusations that all this pain is all your fault.
The callous and cynical world we live in today bears down on us so heavily – we suffer from wounds so mortal, pain afflicted not only on individuals but upon entire families, people groups and nations.
We are left broken, not only in body, but in mind and in spirit, causing us to feel alone even when people are around us. The accusations and the condemnation render us mute, yet wanting to cry out, in words not necessarily intelligible, most likely abrasive, full of the same pain and hate that has been slammed upon us.
We see something is wrong, something is definitely off, something is jacked up for real.. and even if the pain is right in front of us, we are paralyzed with fear..
..and it doesn’t take long for this brokenness, this hurt, this pain to bloat and fill us up and burst, slamming those around us with the same force it hit us.
This cruel world bears upon each and every one of us each and every day, and here we are, stuck, thinking that it’s something we need to fix in order for us and for those around us to be free of the pain.. and, unfortunately, for too many people this ‘fix’ is the sudden end of their lives for the flow to stop. Suicide as an escape, suicide as an end to pain, not just felt personally but pain overflowing to friends and family.
Okay, so I just went ahead and elaborated the pre-chorus and chorus of Breaking The Habit in my perspective. But how does it end? Do we sing the rest of those lines?
We could… but how fortunate, because the world does NOT have the final say. Reality as we know it was invaded, so long ago, by God, who chose to love us. Creator came and dwelt among and with the created. Eternity became bound by time, and the Limitless became wrapped within flesh, with the purpose of saving any and all who would believe… Love proved deeper than our wounds, reached further and wider than our pain, an act made complete when Christ, beaten and broken, nailed upon the cross, spoke and said, ‘It is finished.’
The word of God says that Christ did not just take the sin of the world, but He himself became sin to bear the wrath God had against it, to drain the cup of death, the same death which served as the wages of sin. When He said it was finished, He meant that the anger of God against sin – the sin that He became – was satisfied, and consequently, we became the righteousness and holiness of Christ.
Christ broke the cycle of sin and death, and ushered in a new habit – yet, no, more than a habit, but a life, and a life abundant, for all who trust and believe in Him.
So now, we are left with a choice. We would all sing and dance the same way, understanding the following:
“I don’t want to be the one
The battles always choose
‘Cause inside I realize
That I’m the one confused
I don’t know what’s worth fighting for
Or why I have to scream
I don’t know why I instigate
And say what I don’t mean
I don’t know how I got this way
I know it’s not alright..”
But who sings,
“So I’m breaking the habit,
I’m breaking the habit tonight”?
Could it just be possible that Christ already took the mic from you?
God bless you.
LONG STORY SHORT:
The pain is real… But God’s love for you through Jesus Christ is 100% true, even in your trials.
Christ has set you free from the cycle of condemnation.