Does music take you back? Will a particular song instantly transport you to a time and place flowing deep with memories? Vivid and intense, you remember them as if they were just yesterday.
I know many of you are emphatically nodding your heads ‘yes’ in agreement, or at least feeling a profound level of understanding deep within your soul.
The other day I was reminded of a 70’s song by Cat Stevens. Instantly, I was in the ‘Florida Room’ with my mom and sister, sun streaming in through the glass shutters, music playing loudly on mom’s stereo. We were all sitting on the stylish orange, white, and brown sculptured carpet singing our hearts out. The cats and dog were lying nearby. Life was so simple and so very, very good. Well, except for the humidity and palmetto bugs in Florida. Even at eleven years of age, I knew a bad thing when I saw it. Or felt it. But for the most part, we sang and played my childhood away, and life with my mom was carefree, fun, and even a bit unpredictable and crazy.
Music was a staple to our existence. Mom introduced us to Bob Dylan, Jim Croce, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Elton John, and John Lennon just to name a few.
A good 80’s song will often stir up memories of hanging out with school friends during my teenage years. Dances, softball games, and even heartbreak unimaginable for a young, impressionable girl. While recently browsing in a store, Styx was playing overhead. I lingered just a little while longer, hearing the song out and thinking of the friends I dearly miss from grade school. While I’m still in touch with all of them, we’re separated by more miles than I care to think about. It was a time of laughter, new experiences, and even a bit of stupidity mixed in, but it was grand. And it’s gone. All but the memories are gone.
There are more, of course. Songs I listened to with my kids and artists they loved are seared in my head and heart. Both of my sons were musicians growing up and listening to them play was always a highlight. I’ll hear a familiar song and without warning, there’s a mom lump in my throat, desperately missing the times when I was a band-mom groupie traveling to every concert I could. School concerts, garage band concerts, it didn’t matter. I just loved hearing my kids play. I was a proud Momma and the love for music we shared was a bonus.
On a rare lazy night at home, my hubby will ‘DJ’ for me. We hang out and he picks songs to play from YouTube. I’m even allowed to make requests, but I don’t have to write them down! We’ll stream the internet through our television so we can watch some of the videos, catching glimpse of old styles and times gone by. Journey, Eagles, Kenny Loggins, Christopher Cross… In the Christian genre, our favorites are endless. Hillsong United, Third Day, Casting Crowns, Phil Wickham… The list goes on and on. We seriously have such a blast.
Why do I share this with you? The memories are so sweet, so dear, and I had a sneaking suspicion that many of you would relate and appreciate the prompt to reminisce. But there’s more.
Music might take you back, but it can also lead you forward. What you play now and what you share with your family is making a huge impact on your heart, on those around you, and most especially, with your children.
I didn’t accept Christ as my Lord and Savior until I was twenty-two years of age, and even then, it was a slow growth process. I wasn’t raised in a Christian home, so consequently, I had no idea what ‘Christian’ music was. In contrast, my husband, who is also a HUGE lover of music, was saved at six and raised in a Christian home. He had the privilege and pleasure of growing up listening to and appreciating all kinds of Christian music. Part of his ability to connect with Jesus and enter into worship is through song. It’s a beautiful component of his relationship with Christ and witnessing this has helped deepen my walk with Christ as well.
Clearly, music is incredibly important, extremely instrumental if you will, and so very influential.
“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.” Psalm 95:1
‘You don’t know what you don’t know’, but oh how I wish I did. I wish I knew growing up that I could worship my Lord and Savior with song. And I regret that it took so many years later to truly understand and appreciate the depth of connection between God and song.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Psalm 100:1-2
I’m not regretful for all the amazing music memories stored up in my heart, but I simply wish there were more. So I add to the collection every chance I get. I pray you use music as a way to draw closer to God, invite him into your life, and build the beautiful relationship He desires with you.
Close your eyes and spend a few minutes in sweet worship with your heavenly Father. Listen to the song below. I promise it will bless your day.
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” Colossians 3:16