music that ignites you

I hear the first eight notes of “The Joker,” and I’m instantly back in Junior High with my musician buddies staying up late and laughing ourselves to sleep. I hear the sounds. I see the sights. I can even smell the summer aroma of ballparks, swimming pools, and the mustiness of our church youth director’s summer quarters. It’s there somewhere, just out of reach, until those eight notes. Man! What a rush! That’s the power of music. Dan Fogelberg wrote about the feeling in the true life story he put to music, “Same Old Lang Syne.” “Just for a moment, I was back in school and felt that old familiar pain. And as I turned to make my way back home, the snow turned into rain” If you like music at all, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

God made it that way. Like water seeking the bottom, music seeps into places you can’t see. It somehow gets in deep and moves us, changes us, and delivers its message. I guess that’s why music is so much a part of our faith. We start and end with it in our worship services. Occasionally, I’ll find myself in a traditional church-attending or participating in some event, and a hymn will be sung. Same thing! Though I moved on years ago to contemporary worship, those block chords on the piano and the four-part harmony immediately bring me the peace, comfort, and innocence of childhood.

I’ve learned the power of music. When I’m happy and full of joy, I listen to music. When I need a little pick-me-up, I put on a favorite song. When I’m lonely and in need, I put on a worship song and listen for God. When I can’t even articulate in words the depth of my despair, I put a song on and pray that God will move me. He does. Music is a blessing that can soothe oppressive spirits, as in the case of David and Saul, proclaim sadness, confidence, and victory, as in the Psalms, and can probably help you exactly where you are. So why not try it? If you haven’t already, ask Siri to play a worship song about whatever you are feeling and see if God will speak to you.