I was never really a country-song type of dude until college and my late adolescences stage of life simultaneously hit. I’ll confess that the majority of the reason I didn’t like it was because my sisters and dad were complete country nuts - like line dancing every Thursday with  Tennessee cowboy/cowgirl boots on and a fresh cold one in hand sort of country nuts. I wasn’t about it, plus I just thought country music was for hillbillies and rednecks. Turns out, it’s not. There’s actually a lot of country artists who love the Lord and have created songs that make their audience really think. I eventually caved under the country influence. One of the first albums I had purchased was Take a Back Road, by an artist named Rodney Atkins; the album in its entirety walks through different relational aspects of his life and tells bits and pieces of his story with his different family ties. I wasn’t a fan at first, but it grew on me after a bit. There’s a song called “He’s Mine” that still rings through my head once in a while, as that one had been a bit more appealing when I had first gone through the album. As I was thinking more about this song, I started noticing how some of the themes tied into it are  overlapping with some of the themes that the Lord is working into my life.
   What I’ve been trying to process through lately has been in this sort of relationship of being God’s beloved; what does us being “delighted in” by God actually mean? We can see these being used in the Gospels when God publicly declared Jesus as His own. There’s a sense of pride in using this word, similar to that of which is alluded to in this song I’ve referenced. Here are some of the lyrics that really caught my eye:


“And I'll take the blame

And claim him every time.
Yeah man, he's mine and he'll always be
The best thing that ever happened to me.
You can't turn it off like electricity;
I will love him unconditionally
And I'll take the blame
And claim him every time.
Yeah, y'all, he's mine,

I thank God, he's mine.”                                                                      

 There’s this unconditional, sort of proud ownership and belonging that this Dad has for his kid. Where no matter what, this Dad says with a similar proud smile, “Yup, that one’s mine. Wouldn’t trade’m for anything.” The reason I bring this up is because I think we’re able to see some of God’s character through this otherwise pretty typical country song. The part of Him that takes ownership of His kids, that even in the worst of it He’s there, taking responsibility for our mistakes (on the cross) and stepping in as a buffer because of His unconditional love for each of His kids. He’s proud to do so, too!
   It’s so difficult to think that God wholeheartedly, fully and completely, and perfectly takes delight in me as His kid! When I’m able to meditate on that a little further, I wonder where in my life has God given me opportunities to take delight in who and what is around me, because they, too, are whole-heartedly, fully and completely, and perfectly delighted in by God?  I’m on a quest of sorts to understand this better and delight in those things and people (most importantly in Jesus’ heart for me and the rest of His creation), probably in sunsets and playtime with my ‘puppy’ or conversations with friends. I don’t know yet - going to figure it out as I go, though! Join me, will you? 

Mason S.