Move far away from the shallow

The last I wrote on this subject, I spoke about a song, an earworm, that I had playing in my mind over and over. Well, 2 days later and it’s still there. The song, Shallow,” a duet by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper from the movie “A Star is Born“.

To view the first post, click here.

Today’s post focuses on the song, “Shallow“, from the movie. To put the song into context, it will be helpful if I give a short summary of the movie. (The movie, much like the song, resonates with many people).

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“A Star Is Born” – The Movie

A seasoned musician, Jackson Maine (played by Bradley Cooper) discovers, and falls in love with, a struggling artist Ally (played by Lady Gaga). Ally is on the brink of given up on her dream to make it as a singer, but then Jackson gently and persistently persuades her into the limelight. While Ally’s career takes off, Jackson is battling his own inner demons with alcoholism and other personal issues. Their personal relationship begins to break down. In the end, Ally sings a song Jackson wrote, a song about his love for her, after he had committed suicide.

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“Shallow” – The Song

Why is it that this song resonates with me and so many people? What connects us to the song? Certainly the lyrics mean something different to each person. Why does our culture love this song? Is it the the stunning vocals? Or the calm, classical tone of the music? We read in the bible how David would play the lyre to calm Saul down (1 Samuel 16:14-23). Or, if we dig a little more, there’s a deeper, natural need that we all feel, a need to get out of the shallow. For me, the “shallow” represents a place where human relationships are the most disconnected, a place where authentic, personal relationships are lost. We’re connected more on social media than we are in person. What we long for is, “the deep end”, where we make more connections, deeper connections, are made with other people.

I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in
I’ll never meet the ground
Crash through the surface, where they can’t hurt us
We’re far from the shallow now

If you not familiar with the song, check out the music video:

Songwriters: Andrew Wyatt / Anthony Rossomando / Mark Ronson / Stefani GermanottaShallow lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, Concord Music Publishing LLC

We are able to pursue exciting careers where we can use our passion and skills, opportunities and blessings, technology and knowledge, unlike the generations before us. But like the lyrics suggest, we’re still not happy, we need more, we long for change. Do you fear what you might do when times are tough, when emotions are out of control?

Are you happy in this modern world?
Or do you need more?
Is there somethin’ else you’re searchin’ for?

I’m falling
In all the good times I find myself
Longin’ for change
And in the bad times I fear myself

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How do we change this?

You simply cannot connect deeply and intimately with others over technology. This has become more evident during this pandemic – we’re connecting to family, friends and colleagues over video chats and text messages, and the once deep connection, the personal relationships you have, are fraying. (There’s such irony in all this, we’re connected and disconnected at the same time).

Look at the people around you. Talk to them. Get to know them. Trust them. Connect with them. Believe me, you’ll live a far happier, connected and authentic life being connected with people personally than what you ever would on social media.

As the lyrics go, we all want to “crash through” the superficial friendships and relationships in life and “dive into” deep, authentic relationships where we’re fully known and fully loved—“where they can’t hurt us.”

As Christians, we are commanded to love each other. We simply cannot love one another over social media, not in the way God intended.

Matthew 22:36-40 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

As Christians, we’re also called to be in fellowship with one another. To build up and encourage one another, connect with one another. Again, we cannot do this adequately, how God wanted, over social media.

1 Thessalonians 5:1111 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Hebrews 10: 24-2524 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

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The song also feels like a conversation between a man and a woman who should be connected, but aren’t. God created Adam, and then realised it’s not good for him to be alone, so he created Eve, to be his partner and companion (Genesis 2:18). This union, intended between man and woman, husband and wife, is a beautiful God given gift. The pressures on this world often blur the lines on this union and put unnecessary stress on a marriage. This could create a longing for a deeper connection between the husband and wife.

Whether it is a romantic relationship, a friendship, a family relationship, there’s a special joy, happiness, and purpose that comes with being fully known and fully loved by another person.

But maybe that yearning and void in our hearts are there so that we’ll realise our greater purpose. That yearning is there so that we are drawn back to God to enjoy a deep, fulfilling relationship with Him. That yearning is there to remind us, over and over, that this is not our permanent home, but that we wait expectantly to live for eternity in full communion with our Father.

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19

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