Is there any chance you have heard Adele’s Hello? I’m guessing a solid yes—right? I’ve heard it on the radio, in Target, on the TV and in my sleep.
And collectively as of December 31, 2015, the world has viewed the video over 860,000,000 times! Which means that as a planet, we have invested 87,720,000 hours glued to Adele, which equates to over 34,000 years watching her saying hello from the other side.
I think Adele had us at hello—don’t you?
In that same stretch of the collective clock ticking, we could watch all 6 Star Wars films over 22 million times, or walk around the world 3000 times, or better yet read the entire Bible 186,000,000 times!
But I don’t think anyone who has seen the video or listened to this masterpiece would desire that time back, because Hello has obviously struck a major (and many minor) chords with pretty much the bulk of the civilized world.
In my opinion, the genius of the lyrics doesn’t lie in the apparent commonly used theme of a breakup/makeup romantic kind of thing. No, this song strikes at the heart of humanity at a deeper level, which is one reason Adele said she wrote the song:
“I’m so attached to my whole life here. I get worked up that I’m missing out on things. So Hello is about wanting to be at home and wanting to reach out to everyone I’ve ever hurt—including myself—and apologize for it.” (Source: songfacts.com)
In other words, one way to interpret the song is through a time-bending lens where Adele is calling her younger self (from a flip phone)…
Hello, it’s me.
I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet,
To go over everything.
They say that time’s supposed to heal ya,
But I ain’t done much healing.
Viewing the lyrics from that perspective sure introduces an intriguing scenario, doesn’t it? It is obvious that Adele views at least some of her past with great pain and regret, as would most of us. Perhaps this is why the song has obliterated every download and views records, because to be human is to make mistakes, and the mistakes we make, make us a remorseful species indeed.
So what would you tell your younger self if you had a chance? Would you like to meet with him or her?
Unfortunately—or perhaps fortunately—none of us will ever be able to do that. But this doesn’t mean that pondering such a conversation would be a waste of time, by any means. A reflection of our past can reap great insight into how we plan and live in the future, which is why God’s Word gives us this “hello from the other side” story from thousands of years ago:
When the whole nation was finally across, God spoke to Joshua: “Select twelve men from the people, a man from each tribe, and tell them, ‘From right here, the middle of the Jordan where the feet of the priests are standing firm, take twelve stones. Carry them across with you and set them down in the place where you camp tonight.’”
Joshua called out the twelve men whom he selected from the People of Israel, one man from each tribe. Joshua directed them, “Cross to the middle of the Jordan and take your place in front of the Chest of God, your God. Each of you heft a stone to your shoulder, a stone for each of the tribes of the People of Israel, so you’ll have something later to mark the occasion. When your children ask you, ‘What are these stones to you?’ you’ll say, ‘The flow of the Jordan was stopped in front of the Chest of the Covenant of God as it crossed the Jordan—stopped in its tracks. These stones are a permanent memorial for the People of Israel’” (Joshua 4:1-7, The Message).
When God’s people entered the Promised Land that God provided for them, they were commanded by The Lord to pick out a “stone of remembrance” to mark the historic event when God miraculously parted the Jordan River so they could enter the land they so desperately desired and needed for their nation.
And my friends, I’m certain that you could also look back in your past—whether it be this last year—or the last 10 years—and remember circumstances where God has delivered you. It is critical that you keep track of these memories and even mark them with your own “stone of remembrance,” so that in the future when you are discouraged, you can find strength and hope in those reflections on the past.
From a human perspective, we might be tempted to say hello to our past selves with a heavy tone of regret. But with Jesus Christ and His forgiveness and faithfulness, we can tell the younger us that God has forgiven and redeemed our mistakes, and He will keep us to the very end!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
What a great way to start the New Year—with stones of remembrance! This week, instead of a resolution, find an object that will remind you of God’s faithfulness, and put it somewhere you will see it and be reminded that Jesus has paid the price for your regrets and failures!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Jesus, thank You for saying “It is finished”, so that we can be finished with our regrets and mistakes as well. We commit this New Year to You, and ask that we would love You and follow You with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Read: Proverbs 2:1-5.
My child, listen to what I say,
and treasure my commands.
Tune your ears to wisdom,
and concentrate on understanding.
Cry out for insight,
and ask for understanding.
Search for them as you would for silver;
seek them like hidden treasures.
Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord,
and you will gain knowledge of God.
Get: Forgiven! Can I really be forgiven for all my sins, even the really bad ones? Many teens struggle with guilt and shame for things in their past. Help your students fully experience God’s forgiveness with this downloadable Youth Group 2 Go topical lesson on Jesus’ payment for all our sins. Just $4.99.
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Want to use this Soul Fuel as a bible study with your students this week? Copy and text them the following: “How did 2015 go for you? Check out this week’s devo on reflecting on your past and moving forward with your future: http://hubs.ly/H01LdRY0”
Big Idea: Hello gives us insight on the value of reflecting on our past, which has been redeemed by Jesus.
Key Scripture: Joshua 4:1-7
- What is your opinion of Hello?
- How do you feel about your past?
- What could represent a “stone of remembrance” for you?
- What other ways could you apply this Soul Fuel to THE Cause?