If you are like most of my readers, you’re probably not a huge fan of Twenty One Pilots. And to be honest, neither am I.
But, also like me, you probably know someone who likes, or even loves, Twenty One Pilots. I first heard about Twenty One Pilots a few weeks ago from one of my 7th grade AWANA boys and didn’t even know it was them the first time I heard their new single, Stressed Out.
There is Nothing New Under the Sun
We can use the song Stressed Out to Share God’s story because it points us to the book of Ecclesiastes.
What exists now is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing truly new on earth. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
The NET Bible says “there is nothing truly new on earth.” You may know Ecclesiastes 1:9 this way: “There is nothing new under the sun.”
Regardless of the translation, the point stays the same.
Twenty One Pilots puts it like this.
I wish I found some better sounds no one’s ever heard
I wish I had a better voice that sang some better words
I wish I found some chords in an order that is new
I wish I didn’t have to rhyme every time I sang
This longing for something new, for something unique, is not new and it is not unique to Twenty One Pilots.
It actually sounds a lot like Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes!
Sharing God’s Story with Stressed Out
Here is how I used Stressed Out to share God’s story with my AWANA kids.
I asked them questions about the song. Why did they like it so much? What does it mean to them? Why do they feel that this song “speaks to them,” or “speaks for them?”
I let them get to the point of Ecclesiastes first before I brought it up.
I basically let them agree with the Bible (in this case Ecclesiastes) before I bring up the Bible.
Once they got there, I read Ecclesiastes 1:8-11 and helped them see that Twenty One Pilots is singing about the same stuff, the same ideas, that Solomon wrote about!
All this monotony is tiresome; no one can bear to describe it:
The eye is never satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear ever content with hearing.
What exists now is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing truly new on earth.
Is there anything about which someone can say, “Look at this! It is new!”? It was already done long ago, before our time.
No one remembers the former events, nor will anyone remember the events that are yet to happen; they will not be remembered by the future generations. (Ecclesiastes 1:8-11)
Whether you like this song or not, we can use it to share God’s story – in this case with Ecclesiastes – with our kids and students.
But don’t end with simply agreeing that Stressed Out sings about Ecclesiastes; do what Ecclesiastes does and point your kids and students to God!
Having heard everything, I have reached this conclusion: Fear God and keep his commandments, because this is the whole duty of man. For God will evaluate every deed, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
Yes, life if vanity, life is futility. It goes on and on. We are here and we will eventually be gone, but life goes on. I don’t mean to sound morbid, but that is the case that Ecclesiastes makes. And I know now this is true in my life. When our son died we were shocked that life went on. The day-to-day was still the day-to-day.
So yeah, we desire to be unique and creative, but fail since there is nothing new under the sun.
As Ecclesiastes shows, this should drive us to God. Fear God and obey Him.
It is in God that we find our true identity and our true purpose.
So, how can YOU share God’s story with Twenty One Pilot’s Stressed Out? Do you have a kid or student who really likes this song? If so, you have an easy “in” where you can share God’s story!