And now, a lesson in Spiritual discipline from Van Halen. That’s right. That Van Halen. Who would have thought that the band responsible for “Jump” and “Panama” and songs that my mother would have died to know I knew could also teach me about meditation?
In an ongoing effort to join our teenagers in working through a different spiritual discipline each month, this Sunday we’re going to talk about meditation. Before you get all worried, thinking that I’m going to have you chanting “ohm” in the pews, let me tell you that Christian meditation works a little differently. I hope you’ll give it a chance, because it can really make a difference in your spiritual life. How? Back to Van Halen…
Van Halen has a notorious stipulation included in their contracts with potential concert venues. Before the band would play somewhere, that place had to agree to, among other things, a bowl of M&M’s with all the brown ones removed.
So were these rockers just a bunch of divas? Perhaps they were, but not because of this. A picked over bowl of M&M’s served another purpose. Lead singer, David Lee Roth, explained it in a memoir: “Van Halen was the first band to take huge productions into tertiary, third-level markets. We'd pull up with nine 18-wheeler trucks, full of gear, where the standard was three trucks, max. And there were many, many technical errors…When I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl, well, we'd line-check the entire production. Guaranteed you'd run into a problem.”
The failure of a venue to pay attention to a small detail like brown M&M’s served as a warning that something important might also be missing.
And that right there is the point of meditation. Meditation allows us to slow down and pay attention. It calls on us to stop rushing around and gives God an opportunity to be heard above the noise and confusion. Meditation is the means to an end. It enables us to catch the big stuff that God is saying.