Is There Anybody Out There?

I previously talked a little bit about DANakaDAN. If you haven’t heard of him, you are missing out on a rising Asian-American rapper with incredibly meaningful lyrics. I want to turn my attention to some of those. It’ll be a sort of text analysis with my reactions. As a violinist, my ears naturally gravitate towards melodies rather than words. But I’ve heard this song many many times that the words have now just stuck.

Is there anybody,
who’s watching over
I believe in God,
but I question as I get older
Will my burdens he shoulder,
Can I remain a soldier,
between doing what is right sometimes,
and what i know is colder
And it’s a scary proposition,
from this place of my vision
When I can’t even trust myself,
with simple moral decisions
I know it’s wrong for me to question,
or even trying to test you
But it’s hard sometimes,
when I stare at myself in the restroom
That’s why can I be open,
can I say I took it for granted
Of what could be offered in life,
this is my time to be candid
Never mind, I’ll just get faded,
besides thinking is overrated
And i just want to escape,
that to face what I’ve created
So tell me is there anybody out,
that you know without a doubt
Can explain to me all this
and what life is all about
To live or live without,
We’re wondering what is out
So it’s always got me asking,
Is there anybody out there (out there)

Hope they’re still waiting for me
Cuz I’m feeling so scared (so scared)
But I know through this I can be free
Cuz if I keep on, I know I’ll know I’ll find
It will all get better in time (in time)
Is anybody out there (is there anybody)
Cuz I know they’re still waiting,
you’re still waiting on me

This is only an excerpt from his song Is There Anybody Out There, but it is so powerful on so many levels. I find myself thinking “yes! of course I believe in God!” But what does that even mean? I’m supposed to put all my faith into Him, but how can I remain assured that I’m doing the right thing when modern times challenge simple moral decisions?

God has been portrayed to me as almost militant, someone who will punish me with so much wrath if I slip up. But a good friend told me the other day, “I am not a Christian, but the God I believe in is all-powerful and all-loving. He will always watch over me, and understand that the decisions I am making.” This is a view that really resonates with me. It seems natural that God wants what is best for us, and that it would include happiness; but that’s not always the case as many people who’ve read the Scripture know.

As this year has flown by, I’ve garnered so many questions. While one close friend had a revelation and has brought God so close to his heart, another closer friend told me last week that he “is more convinced now than ever that he doesn’t buy into religion (Catholicism) anymore.” Part of me wrestles with what I believe, but another part of me is so apathetic. Is it so wrong of me to be confused about what is right and wrong? Do certain things HAVE to have a right or wrong attached?

How much of the relationship with God is a personal endeavor and how much of it should happen in an institution? It’s sad to hear about love for all and see my loved ones who are “devout” have so many prejudices and place value on materialistic issues. How in the world do I reconcile these disagreements and discomfort I have with my loved ones with what is supposed to be right in God’s eyes? People say it’s supposed to be personal, but why do I feel that so much of it is also society-driven?

Luckily, however, all the while I see what Dan says. Honestly, I don’t know if he himself is religious, but his music reminds me that God does exist, God is indeed here watching over me. And that in itself is a blessing. As America becomes more diverse and views on God become more fragmented, it is so important for me to find that fire inside of me to go and pursue whatever of a relationship I do have with God. I should not have to ask the same questions every year due to my complacency and continuous discomfort.

Thank you, Dan, for reminding me. Thank you to my friends, both religious and non-religious, for pushing back against my words and coaxing me to form my own views and to search for the right. Discussions are more than welcome.

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Is There Anybody Out There?

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