Brand New: good, bad, and ugly (The finale)
Running ‘nature’s treadmill’, breathing the outdoor air (maybe not fresh air, but outdoor air), and taking in the scenery had awakened my senses. My panoramic view paired nicely with the fragrance of mesquite trees, while my feet felt the ground beneath in rhythmic stride. My sense of hearing begged to join in nature’s sensory explosion. Suddenly, listening to my usual playlists – the soundtracks reminding me to be Fergilicious, animalistic, or booty-tastic – just felt out of place. I was craving something more.
(Note: As for the sense of taste, the dirt and grit in my teeth – gourmet compliments of the desert – weren’t cutting it, but tastier options would have to wait for the finish line.)
One would think I could have simply switched to ‘Jesus music’ to fix my problem, but this solution only added to the problem. My musical preferences didn’t seem to fit the mold of the Christian music genre. Pandora’s search engine couldn’t handle my high maintenance request of ‘desert-running playlist with heavy beat, no twang, no bango, less boy band/more ear candy, containing lyrics of Biblical truth, not just words of church jargon’. My requirements read more like a ‘help wanted’ ad. I was musically needy.
I don’t remember praying specifically about my musical void, which would’ve been a great place to start, but God graciously led me to find Christian rap where I discovered the lyrical mastery of Lecrae, Andy Mineo, and Trip Lee, to name a few.
I know, I know. A white, 30-something mom (who has blogging in her future) with Christian rap streaming from her earbuds is a perfectly cute suburban cliché. I don’t typically embrace clichés, but I do embrace happiness, joy, and listening to what I like, so what else could I do? I let Pandora fill my stations with any Jesus loving rapper they could find. And it was fantastic.
As often happens when you listen to the same playlist everyday, songs were repeated often and I soon had them memorized. This was great because I was memorizing truth straight from God’s Word. (Trust me – I checked.) I was reading God’s truth everyday and now hearing it in song, which encouraged me to think about His truth throughout the day, which helped me internalize God’s heart-changing truth, which deepened my understanding of God’s perfect character – the character I’m supposed to be reflecting. This chain reaction inside me made remembering how to behave easier. I have a human tendency to forget.
As a Christ-follower, surrounding yourself with God’s truth is as necessary as breathing; unless of course, you enjoy struggling against your imperfect human nature while trying to follow a perfect Savior. He invites us into a dynamic relationship and we half-heartedly toss Him a few teeny segments of our time and attention. Church on Sunday (when we can make it), the One Minute Devotional (if we remember), and a hurried dinner prayer (more routine than gratitude) don’t lend enough space for our Great Physician to perform heart metamorphosis procedures. He’s too powerful, too unfathomable, and simply too wonderful. There are no short-cuts and no cheats for spending time with Him.
We need His relevant Word everyday. And then, repeat, repeat, REPEAT!
Some moments are better with a soundtrack. Cooking with Frank Sinatra, pool time with Bob Marley, and dead lifts to the musical poetry of Lecrae are some of the great pleasures in life. But so is silence. Make room for silence, too, and listen for the quiet voice of the Master Composer.
Now that’s a sweet sound.