Lessons from Pandora

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

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I love Pandora. For those of you who have not tried it yet, you should. It is free music on the internet. I always have it on as I am working on my laptop. In fact, I have about 50 different stations that I have created over the years. The music ranges from opera, classical, hip-hop to Hillsong and everything in between except for heavy metal.

Recently, there was a lesson that I learned from Pandora that reminded me of an important biblical principle (well, several principles).

First of all, Pandora works according to the decisions you make. You are able to make up your own stations (i.e. The Opera Station) and then pick songs that you like by clicking on thumbs up or thumbs down. But the thing to remember is that in the beginning as you start, Pandora will play random songs that they think fit into your station. They go off the songs that you have given a “thumb up” to and then try to give similar types of songs. It tries to match the particular “sound” that you like and then suggests others songs within that same musical style. Therefore, if you are listening to classical music (giving a “thumbs up”), then they will probably not play anything from Ne-Yo.

The interesting part about this whole process is that if you play that station long enough and give enough thumbs up and down, then you will be able to create a station that will consistently play the type of music that you want.

What are some of the principles?

1) Consistently choosing correct choices will create contentment. It is amazing how we forget that our “decisions determine our destiny.” As we learn how to make wise choices, we begin to grow and understand more of God’s heart. When we continue to make those good and right choices in obedience to God, then we begin to experience joy and contentment in our lives. The people who are constantly struggling to live life with purpose and contentment are people who are not making consistent choices that are based on conviction. As I try to consistently choose the right songs in the right genre of music, I can choose a station and except to hear the type of songs that I want to hear, which gives me ultimate enjoyment and contentment as I work on my computer.

2) Faithfully forging forward will foster fruits. There will be times when there are back-to-back songs that do not fit into the station that I am trying to create. At times, it is pretty frustrating when Pandora can’t figure out what I want (I sometimes wonder what 50 Cent has to do with Kenny G). But as I continue to give thumbs up to the right songs, it is amazing how after awhile it will continue to play all the right songs. In fact, I have done this for so many of my stations that now, when I choose a station I don’t have to worry about songs being played that are not in “style” of the station. But this took hours of faithfully clicking thumbs up and down. In the same way, when we continue to do God’s will, we will often find ourselves seeing the fruits of our obedience.