My memory is pretty mediocre. I frequently forget things like passwords, appointments and my own phone number (to be fair, you don’t call yourself). I can, however, remember the words to The Saddle Club theme song* – after all these years! As adults, some of us still need to sing “The Alphabet Song” from time to time and that’s ok. There is no shame. Songs are just so easy to remember, they’re etched in the mind as we hear them. Do you recall that advertisement for the Reading and Writing Hotline? (“One, three, double OH, six, triple FIIIVE, oh, six” – I don’t know when I last heard that song, but it stuck!)
Music is incredible; sounds and words become something else when they’re intertwined – more pointed, more potent. For me, music is a place of refuge, a form of therapy, a conversation piece and a means of expression. However, it’s also a personal crutch, a distraction, a form of escapism and if I’m honest, a god. As a Christian, prayer, community and Scripture mean the world to me, but on a bad day, I’ll run and hide inside my headphones, I’ll write a song or sit at the piano for hours; it’s a knee-jerk reaction, instinctual to a fault.
Now don’t get it twisted, I fully support having a playlist for every occasion, but let’s take a minute to confront the issue of idolatry (in my life, at least).
Here are two things that I am learning at the moment (and relearning and relearning):
- Music is a beautiful thing, but it cannot compare to the God who created it.
- God reveals His beauty in SO many different ways; Scripture, nature, literature, people… songs are simply a scratch on that surface.
The same could be said for family, friendships, college, your significant other, your job, your studies… there are things that we tend to enshrine as if they were God Himself. They’re not God, they’re just good.
A friend of mine shared this quote recently: “our identity, first and foremost, is who God calls us. Our gifts and talents are all great but they are secondary to His voice. We were never supposed to get our identity from what we can do because everything can change in an instant. Jobs can be lost, opportunities can be given to someone else, inspiration can run dry…” – Matt Stinton
Looking at life, God has been the only constant; music is a way of worshipping Him. I’m learning to seek God through music, not in it. Here’s to using creativity as a way of remembering my Creator.