Most of you have probably heard Ed Sheeran’s poetic new hit, “The A Team.” It spoke to me the very first time I heard it, and I’ve known all the words for a couple of months now.
The song tells a story of a girl who became a fallen “angel” (not in the from-Heaven sense, but more in the sweet/had-potential sort of way). She’s a cocaine addict who sells her body for the money to get high, and all that’s left of her is the shell of the girl she once was. The cold world is slowly killing her.
Here’s the chorus:
“And they say
She’s in the Class A Team
Stuck in her daydream
Been this way since 18
But lately her face seems
Slowly sinking, wasting
Crumbling like pastries
And they scream
The worst things in life come free to us
Cause we’re just under the upper hand
And go mad for a couple of grams
And she don’t want to go outside tonight
And in a pipe she flies to the Motherland
Or sells love to another man
It’s too cold outside
For angels to fly
Angels to fly”
The first time I heard this song on the radio, I was drawn to the provocative line about halfway through the chorus that talks about the worst things in life. I’ve always lived in a culture that is proud to proclaim that the BEST things in life are free, and I’ll admit that after first hearing it, I disagreed without really listening to him.
Today I was thinking about this song in a spiritual sense, and the entire thing made perfect sense to me. We all start out as God’s good creations. We’re small, squishy bundles that know nothing of the evils that exist in this world. Then we grow up, and we make choices – some of which are terrible. Sometimes we can laugh off our mistakes and learn from them, but others aren’t so easy to recover from.
On some level, we’re all wasting away, but I think of God as a preservative that keeps us fresher longer. I know from personal experience that pushing God away can and will quickly turn into a crumbling emotional situation. Being on a team with Jesus should be a simple choice, right? Because being with God is supposed to be free, isn’t it? At least that’s what I originally thought.
I began to think of it like the democratic system of government we have in the United States. We give up certain rights (doing whatever we please) to gain others (being safe and protected). There are people in this country who don’t believe in democracy and who refuse to follow our laws. The fact that they don’t believe in them doesn’t cause the laws go away, and it certainly doesn’t make it okay for them to behave any way they choose. It just means that the system recognizes their right to be independent and be as cooperative as they decide to be.
Living for God is a lot similar. We’re recognized by our heavenly father as being independent, so we’re allowed to make our own choices. But in order to love God, you have to give up certain things and learn to prioritize others. While it’s certainly nothing compared to the price Jesus paid for all of us, it’s still something. It’s the price of accepting love and giving it in return.
We’re surrounded by evil things all the time – anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, etc. The devil has more locations than McDonald’s. His things – the very worst things in existence – are always free, but they’re not good for us. Poison might be inexpensive, but that doesn’t mean we should choose it over food. God is nourishment and love, and sometimes getting the proper nutrients comes at a higher cost on the front end.
I’m not a drug addict, but I’ve been lost like the girl in Ed Sheeran’s song. Some days, I still find myself without any idea as to where I am, but since I stopped taking free items and started investing in real products, I find that I always have a compass in the word of God. :)