i hate to admit it. God has used it to do some profound work in my life. and in my heart, i have a passion for it. but, truth be told, i have been guilty of misusing it…
it is possible, you know. as much as i appreciate transparency and honesty of an artist in a song, i’ve learned that i have to be careful with how long i stay “in a mood.” or the kind of message i saturate my mind with.
i know everyone’s done it. played the same song over and over and over again. brooding over some lost love. reliving that painful memory. longing for what you don’t have. indulging your emotions. i guess it was worse for me because i was so vulnerable.
sometimes it helps. sometimes it motivates. sometimes it heals. and i’m a testament to that.
but, if you’re not careful, it is possible to do harm. and i’m a testament to that, too.
and i did it with “christian” music.
i would feed into my emotions. have nice little pity parties and be justified because of how the song enabled me. if they have felt this way, then it must be ok. i was seeking comfort from the wrong kind of source, and had no motivation to pick myself up if i was in a pit. the other extreme was looking for an emotional and spiritual “high” from a song. if it came, i ended up crashing because i was riding too much on my emotions versus truth. if it didn’t come, i’d feel depressed and think there was something wrong with me.
but mostly my problem had to do with my romantic ideas. we girls swoon over a song about romance, especially when it’s sung by a guy…and even worse, a “christian” guy. who’s cute. never good for someone like me with the issues i had in the state that i was in. i’ve idolized. i’ve idealized. i’ve crashed. i’ve rinsed. i’ve repeated. this behavior was a residue of my past. it’s how i used to cope. clinging to some fantasy or ideal, and running away with it in my mind. it would consume me. it was my escape from reality. and God had to correct that within me. it was probably one of the hardest things i had to let go of. the stripping away process was…difficult, and painful. very, very painful.
so i turned it off for a while.
my car rides were silent. my ipod was put away. my music players were dormant. for several months i did this. i obviously couldn’t control outside influence, but what i did have control of was shut off. it was a struggle at first, but not for long…
what i noticed is that we live in a noisy world. there’s always music playing. someone with headphones on. radios playing in cars, stores, restaurants, elevators. everywhere. it’s been engrained into our society. it’s “comfortable.” have you ever been inside a store with no music on? it’s awkward. we’ve gotten to where we even tune each other out in public. i get my feelings hurt by people walking around everywhere with ear buds.
i didn’t miss it when i turned it back on. i’ve learned how to express my emotions without listening to a song. and i’ve learned how to move on. i know what i can and can’t handle emotionally (…most of the time). i’m also very careful about the lyrics i listen to…especially the “christian” ones. yes, life is hard. but God is God. focus on Him. draw others to Him. and right now, He is the love of my life, and i want to focus on what i have rather than what i don’t.
but most of all, i learned to run to Him. not lose myself in emotions or circumstances or ideals…but lose myself in Him, in His word.
be careful, little ears, what you hear…