I listen to a lot of music, especially on the weekends. I can honestly say that I’ve been through just about every genre the world has to offer, with the exception of the one’s that I cannot tolerate. Music has always been a part of me. I recall my house always being filled with an ambiance of a beat of some sort. My mother and father both enjoyed music as I was growing up, and it stuck with me. In school, I played saxophone. I’ve always tapped on something to a beat heard at the time or to the one in my head. I taught myself to play guitar and bass, and they are played when time permits. Lately, I have been spending a lot of my time listening to a type of music called Lo-Fi Chill Hop as I go about the different tasks that pop up. There are no words, just a beat with some soothing instrumentals accompanying it, with a lo-fi character. I spend my time listening to it as I write, exercise, do certain tasks around our home, or whatever there is to do that allows me to wear my Bluetooth earpiece. It’s not the only music I listen to, but it is so peaceful and soothing. It makes for a peaceful moment or two within a busy world.
Music is such a big deal to me, but not nearly as much as it had been in years past. I was driving home the other evening listening to a Pink Floyd song from the Animals album — a song titled Dogs — and thinking about how many times I must have listened to it, where I had been when it was a popular track in my collection, and the ups and downs of my life when Pink Floyd was, in itself, my personal self-proclaimed theme. I absolutely loved Pink Floyd. I spent a couple thousand dollars to see the majority of the band play in Chicago in 2006. It was worth every penny at the time. I literally idolized David Gilmour, and being at front row where I had been so close to him was a surreal experience. Not to mention, getting to see and hear the timeless music being played right before my eyes and ears was quite an experience. I’ll never forget it, hopefully. Throughout a span of about ten years, I spent a lot of money I had earned on concerts. There were so many magical times that I spent admiring some of my favorite artists.
This song, “Dogs”, had me playing back the things of old that are burned into my memory as I drove home the other evening. The sorrow, the happiness, the absolutely horrible feeling of rushing to see my deceased best friend trying to be resuscitated by paramedics, the home and life I used to share with my ex, the isolation I gladly embraced through the many bouts of depression and substance withdrawal.
As I arrived home, I just let the music continue to play as I allowed the thoughts and emotions to just be. I found myself in tears. I found my past life — accompanied by the exact same notes and voices of the song of the current minutes — reiterated. It was like taking a walk through all that I had been throughout my personal journey, right up until the very last note of the song had played. It made me think about the gift of memory, the destructive and/or constructive facets of those memories, and it also made me realize that all that I really have is the memories in the current moment.
That’s the only place we are, really. We are only in the current moment.
I used to play the songs and dwell on these things mentioned: the sorrows, joys, the self-destructive practices that led to my demise, the unlearned and unwanted ways that would have taken me away from my depressive states. All of these things used to coincide with the music. My music — a catalyst for my idols. The thing that was just something that I enjoyed in earlier years became the something that I had to have in order for me to hold onto my emotions tightly.
Yes, my emotions were certainly how I defined myself, and they were definitely what I now understand to be as my personal idols.
You see, when one begins to walk with the Lord and begins to hear the inner voice He speaks, the truth is revealed. Granted, one can get out of the way and allow this to happen. I have and do spend my time in His Word and have a different understanding of how His voice speaks to the heart — the true essence of who I am — as I journey through this world. Emotions are just a gift He has given me. They are not where I reside and find definition. I’ve been there and done that, and it’s just not what is true. When you begin to see what truth is in Christ, you begin to see that a heart of love is truly all that matters. You begin to see that all of these things that we experience in this world are just that — experiences. We get to experience emotions, music, death (only temporary death for those who give their hearts to the Lord through Christ), and whatever experience we stumble upon as individuals. Anything and everything outside of the love that God has given anyone who will come to Him by simple faith (all of the rest of the “life” that we have) is just a beat. It’s just an experience. It’s just a temporary song that stirs the emotions.
I pray this morning that your relationship with the Lord soothes the many ups and downs of your personal song.