Music was a huge part of my life until I lost my hearing last year. I can still listen to music but it’s very distorted now. It’s not the same. I really miss it a lot, as a fan and a musician. I’m trying to work my way back into it a little bit, but it’s very challenging.
If you have ever been in my office or watched my devotionals during online services you have seen “the WALL” of CD’s in my office. THE WALL OF SOUND! Actually, there are two walls or shelves loaded with the CD’s that I collected from 1986-2008. There were more, but I sold or traded away quite a few. The scary thing is that those CD’s are only part of my “collection”. In 2008, I decided to stop buying physical CD’s, because I was running out of space to store them. I switched to digital music downloads from iTunes. Well you can imagine how much music I’ve probably accumulated from 2008-2019, if my “wall of sound” is any indication. I have about 30,000 songs stored on an external hard drive, that does include CD’s that I have burned to digital. I guess you could call it an obsession. Uh, ya think?
One of my favorite things was waiting for “release day” for new music. It used to be every Tuesday, but the music industry changed it to Friday a few years ago. Every “release day”, I would go to record/music stores (remember those?) or online to check out the new stuff. I still check out new releases on iTunes, even though I haven’t bought anything since losing my hearing. Old habits are hard to break. I would also check release dates in magazines and online for what was coming out. Some weeks we’re more exciting than others, especially if one of my favorite artists was releasing a new album that week in stores or online. I remember celebrating when Hootie and the Blowfish’s second album came out. It was “Hootie Day”!
Obviously, I was a music “consumer”. Yes, I bought music, but I also “consumed” it like food or fuel. It fed my soul. Once I had consumed an album. I was ready for something else. Something NEW! I craved it. I was a music glutton. Sure, I would go back and re-consume the old stuff. Okay, that kind of sounds gross, but you know what I mean. I loved hearing NEW music! I was always on the lookout for something new.
In the old days buying a CD by a new artist or one that was unfamiliar was risky. You may have heard their “single” on the radio, but that didn’t guarantee that the whole album was good. Ever heard of “one hit wonders”? Sometimes the “single” was the only good song on an album or the only one worth listening to. So, if you paid $10 for an album with only one good song on it, you were stuck with it and felt ripped off.
Sometimes record stores had listening stations that you could preview entire albums. It was great. That’s the beauty of buying music online now; you can hear a preview of each song on an album before you buy it. Previews eliminated the risk of buying a dud or a bad album, and I bought my share of duds.
It’s not that I don’t like old music or the “oldies but goodies”. I do. Old music is very nostalgic and takes me back in time. But, there is something about “new” music that I love. It’s fresh and exciting. It’s sonic exploration. I remember hearing ELO’s (Electric Light Orchestra) “Discovery” album on headphones for the first time. It was huge and magical. Their music was so rich and layered with so multiple instruments, orchestration, and harmony. It’s still one of my favorites.
I could literally go on and on and on about music, but I need to start tying this into something spiritual, right?
As much as I love music there were times when I would get burned out and wouldn’t listen to anything for a while, but there would always be something, a new song, sound, or artist that would bring me back and recharge the engine.
Our walk of faith and relationship with Christ is no different. In our humanness it’s nearly impossible to maintain or sustain a perfectly high level of passion forever about anything. There are times when we struggle, get distracted, have doubts, and lose focus. We get tired, bored, and burned out.
I wish that wasn’t true, but I have to be honest and admit it. The good news of the Gospel is that God’s grace is not just available for my salvation, but it’s also there when I’m struggling. God is faithful. He is patient with us even while we’re distracted, bored, tired, scared, having doubts, etc.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)
Not only is He patient with us. He also never stops pursuing us, calling, and reaching out to us. We may give up on Him, but He will never give up on us.
The Apostle Paul encourages and reminds Timothy and us in 2 Timothy 1:6-7 to “fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” Other translations say to “rekindle” or “stir up” the gift of God. In other words, we need to make an effort to get the fire burning again, to get things stirred up.
I’m not sure how you get fired back up, but don’t be afraid to try something new. I don’t mean a new god or anything, just to be clear. The Lord always uses different things to get my attention. It may be circumstances, experiences, new friends, a new book, a new song, or a new message from a pastor or speaker. Sometimes finding a new location for my “God time” helps stir things up. Getting a different view or seeing scripture from a different angle can be very refreshing. I hope you find something new to recharge your soul this week.
Please pray for our kid’s, parents, teachers, and school administrators as they start school this week. This is a “back to school” year like no other. I know they will appreciate it.
Director of Family Ministry and Facility Management