I did a terrifying, devastating, and perhaps foolish thing today.

I permanently deleted my entire music collection.

You probably don’t understand what this means. Let me explain.

Remember my post about how my lust for music was taking over my life? I was constantly consuming music, illegally and to the loss of about 50 hours a week, so I decided to stop consuming music altogether.

That lasted two days.

Then I started consuming music faster than ever before. I recently downloaded, cataloged, and previewed more than 60 albums in a single day. I love music so much, and have such easy access to it that I couldn’t stop.

My addiction is unhealthy and wasteful, and is keeping me from being the man God is calling me to be. And like a drug, it makes me feel very good but is keeping me from being truly, deeply filled with joy.

So I deleted it all. Over 5,000 albums, most obscure and difficult to find. Truly, my life’s work. The product of thousands of hours of passionate hunting, reading, discussing, trading, and writing. Mostly stolen albums, hundreds of free and legitimate albums, and hundreds of albums I paid for properly. All gone. Forever.

I knew I couldn’t take the time to sort out the ones that were free or rightly purchased; that would still leave me with a very large collection and a wide open door for the temptation to build again on that collection. No, in order to free myself, I had to totally devastate myself.

I knew this was an area of my life I had not surrendered to God. Now I seek the simple path of daily brokenness before God.

Did I make the right choice? I don’t know. I begged God to tell me what to do, but I couldn’t hear him. So I did the thing that seemed most pure, most beautiful. My decision may have been stupid, but I hope God considers that I did it with good intentions.

How do I feel? Awful. I weep now as I type this, because I just threw away thousands of hours of intense pleasure. Nothing stirs my emotions like good music, and I had a limitless supply of it just a few minutes ago. Now it is all gone, and it seems a cold world that awaits me without it. Imagine the thing you love the most, the thing that keeps you going through the week, the thing that comforts you when you hurt, the thing that excites you to no end. Then imagine it suddenly and completely gone.

I don’t recall ever asking my readers for prayer before, but I ask it now. Please pray that I will remain faithful and not steal music ever again, that I will keep music surrendered to God, that I will fill the gaping hole left behind with the presence of God, and that I will continue to surrender other parts of my being to Christ’s lordship.

Breathe, Luke. Just breathe. It’s gonna be okay.