Singer and songwriter Mike Posner wrote a song in 2015 called “I took a pill in Ibiza”. The song was originally recorded as acoustic, but now a remix and is all over top 40 radio. The song highlights Mike’s life and career as a musician. In the chorus of the song, he says this…
But you don't wanna be high like me
Never really knowing why like me
You don't ever wanna step off that roller coaster and be all alone
You don't wanna ride the bus like this
Never knowing who to trust like this
You don't wanna be stuck up on that stage singing
Stuck up on that stage singing
All I know are sad songs, sad songs
Darling, all I know are sad songs, sad songs
I really appreciate the song, because it is an honest assessment about his life. In a recent interview by ABC, Mike Posner talks about the song and his life. He has a few profound quotes:
“To be more specific, after "Cooler than Me" became a smash and Mike realized his goal of becoming rich and famous at the tender age of 22, he was disappointed to find out that all his success didn't make him happy: he still had the same problems he'd had when he was an unknown. In other words, be careful what you wish for.”
"One depressing thing that can happen in their life is they can miss their goals, they can fall short," he tells ABC Radio. "Another depressing thing that can happen to someone is they can reach their goals and they could not be what they thought they were going to be.”
Getting what you want, but not exactly
Mike, after his first few hits at the age of 22, had it all. Or so he thought. He had money, girls, success, fame, but something strange happened when he finally got what he wanted. He wasn’t happy. In fact he felt depressed. This doesn’t make sense. He had everything he ever dreamed of, things many of us dream of, how could he not be satisfied?
Have you ever finally gotten what you wanted and it wasn’t what you thought? A girlfriend, grades, money, success? If you are anything like me or Mike Posner you can relate to this idea. So what does that mean? It could mean we set our expectations to high for things, have the wrong goals or aspirations, or it could mean, just maybe, the things we are looking to were never meant to satisfy.
First Things First
C.S. Lewis says it best “You can’t get second things by putting them first. You get second things only by putting first things first.” I have found this quote to be true. So often I am disappointed in life when I get what I want for this very reason. I am putting things that aren’t designed to be first, first. Taking it a step deeper, Mark Driscoll says, “we take good things, we make them into god things, and in so doing they become bad things.” God is designed for that number one spot. The only thing designed for that role, yet we put things in the place of where God is designed to be. Good things were never meant to be #1. Money, fame, girls/ guys, success can’t be ultimate.
It is only when rightly understood why God needs to be first, that second things fit into their correct place and make sense. For example I am married, and early in marriage I found myself disappointed. I had waited 24 years for this and finally got the girl of my dreams. But why was I disappointed? There was a part of me that put Nikki in a place she was never designed to be. Nikki was never designed to satisfy me perfectly and be some sort of arrival in life. And if that is my standard for her (or anything) she will always disappoint.
How does that work?
The Bible speaks to this as well “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” It is actually when we understand God rightly, and put Him first everything else make sense.
Here is what I mean. Take food for example, I think we can all agree food is good. Take your favorite food (thick cut bacon, medium rare steak, honey crisp apple, insert gluten free option, etc). In and of itself food is good, but won’t ultimately satisfy deeper longings than just hunger. But when we rightly understand food through Christ, it's not only better, but becomes an opportunity to worship God through our enjoyment of food. We have a creative God who loves us so much he gave us food to eat for nourishment, but to also enjoy. We have a God who created taste buds to enjoy the flavors instead of taking something like a pill to get all of our calories for a day. The same is true of everything in the world. Friendships, marriage, money: all good things, that are actually enhanced when understood in their right place. When we understand God, it rightly puts these things into perspective and make us give thanks to Him and not worship the things.
I can’t put words in Mike Posner’s mouth, and I have no idea what he believes about God, but the irony about his song is now once again Mike Posner is rich, successful, climbing the top 40 charts… again. What will be different? Will this time it satisfy?
I can’t answer that for Mike, but what about you? Have you got what you wanted in life only to realize it wasn’t exactly what you wanted? Did it deliver as promised? Could it be you are pursuing the wrong goals or have wrong expectations? Or could it be that those things in and of themselves were never meant to satisfy?
Campus Outreach Minneapolis
Northwest Area Director