Missing the Music in My Life

Chris talked last week about good art changing us. In it, he talks about how he is a music guy. I am not. I like books and speeches. When the three of us are together, there are two subjects that Allen and Chris will discuss as my eyes glaze over: the Texas Rangers and music. I have no frame of reference.

Part of the reason I listen to so little music is because I am a podcast junky. All the places most people listen to music: the car, the shower, exercising, etc. I have podcasts or audio books bumping in my ear buds.

But I have found music plays an important role in my life. I find that when I go too long without music, I begin to miss its role and its presence. There is something in my soul that craves it.

I find that I need it most during times of stress.

I could narrate all the significant stresses in my life with music. The more stressed I get, the more difficult circumstances I find myself in, music begins to speak louder and louder. It helps me make sense of the chaos.

John Mayer and Dashboard Confessional navigated most of my college experience. Laura Story walked our family through an extremely rough period. Anytime I find my self worn down, I listen to “Shine Your Light” by Robbie Seay.

Music speaks to hurt, stress, and difficulty more than anything else I have found.

Perhaps this is why the most frequent kind of Psalms are lament Psalms.

Music has a way of taking our suffering and transforming it. When something beautiful is made out of hurt, it is a reminder that we are going to be ok. We will make it. We aren’t forgotten. Beauty is possible.

Maybe this is why worship is so crucial in communities of faith. There are times where we don’t want to sing. Life gets in the way of trusting who God is and what he is doing in the world. It is at these times that we need worship. We need to hear voices who communicate that God is still faithful, still working, and hasn’t forgotten.

These words are not hollow and static. They are living and breathing and moving and have a rhythm in all of our lives. Music helps us see that when it doesn’t seem to be ringing true in our lives.

In those moments where words seem hollow and empty, music shines through the darkness to give hope.

Let’s share some music today. What is go-to music for your hard times?

4 thoughts on “Missing the Music in My Life

  1. I have found that I listen to less and less music during my day, especially since I received my Kindle with the text-to-speech feature which allows me to listen to a book as I clean, do laundry, drive, etc. However, like you, there are times I need the music to soothe and comfort me. Oftentimes, I find myself in worship listening instead of singing as I allow the words and music and voices of my brothers and sisters to flow over, around, and in me. Sometimes, I do so with tears on my cheeks. I am so grateful that God gave us music to brighten and lighten our lives.

  2. “Sigh No More” by Mumford & Sons was such an impactful album to me. So much of it is about doubt and coming back to faith. There’s such a wide range of emotion that is expressed in the songs of that album. I still go back to it over & over again – in times of joy or sorrow. Even though I know all the words by heart, it’s amazing how I return to that album so that I feel like someone else knows what I’m going through and can empathize.

  3. Music and written words are two of my life’s greatest joys. The seasons when I don’t listen as much are dry and harsh compared to the lushness of those when I do. I can count on one hand the number of podcasts I’ve listened to in my life, but don’t hate me because I’m musical. 😉

    Will is turning 18 in a few months and he’s itching to get his first tattoo. The inside of his forearm will read, “When words fail, music speaks.” I love that.

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