I am away on a retreat in a hermitage in the mountains of western North Carolina. I do this at least twice a year to pull away from the daily routine; to be still, read, pray, write and more. It moves me into a reflective and contemplative mindset. The retreat does not begin when I step into my little cabin but rather in packing my things, loading the jeep, and beginning the eleven-hour drive.
As I wandered north, I was listening to an assortment of music stored in various playlists on my iPhone. (technology has made this amazingly simple compared to the day when I carried multiple cases of cassettes and CD’s). I listened to quite a variety of artists and styles: from classical, to country, folk, rock, bluegrass and to be honest a few I do not want to admit to (I have a playlist called, “It’s Embarrassing That I Like This Music“). I sang along, in awe that all those lyrics are stored somewhere in my brain.
There was a season where I collected several “movie soundtracks,” typically to favorite movies. I did this sometimes for a specific song or two but often I would enjoy the instrumental sections. This music was specifically tied to images, to narrative moments in the script. It was easy to imagine the scenes being played out on the big screen.
So many songs transport me to places in my past. I find myself wandering in my mind to favorite landscapes with friends, family, brothers, sisters, mentors; all true companions in my life. The melodies stirred deep memories of moments of faith. My heart was warmed as I pondered the journey I have been blessed to travel.
Music has been a significant part of my journey. My life has a rich soundtrack of laughter, joy, peace and comfort, faith, hope and love. As with any narrative there have been moments of pain, loss, despair and tragedy. In all of the moments there is music attached, songs that accompanied all my seasons.
Think about this with me. What are the songs on your life’s soundtrack? What music stirs you, comforts you and even yields healing? What melody binds up a broken heart? What song mends the rifts and moves you forward? What lyric makes you smile and starts your toes a-tapping?
Music will touch something deep within us if we will let it. It is a means of grace and a gift from God. I know that is why the Bible urges us in this manner:
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)
“…but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Ephesians 5:18–20)
Photo credit: Simon Bonaventure via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA