April has been a challenging month for many around this world. Waiting is not something we humans do very well; and in the USA, we find waiting and being quiet especially upsetting, disquieting, and even a torment to the soul.
I am no stranger to waiting, but this month has tested whether I will truly discover the Providence of God even in unsettling circumstances. People who know me well know that I am an avid, daily student of the Word of God; many know of my unwavering labors of love in prayer for people whom I know and for fellow humans enduring temptations, testings, and trials this side of glory on a fallen planet. But not many know how much I value music for living well this side glory.
One of the most pleasant of surprises has been becoming re-acquainted with music and how it stirs up joy in my life. I am thanking Spotify for that pleasure; it has enabled me to develop playlists of music my husband and I have enjoyed from early in our life together, but which became eclipsed by the onslaught of much to do, and the demise of the best musical programming on broadcast radio.
We began our joint musical library back in the late 60s with vinyl discs and open reel tapes on high quality stereo equipment. (Although vinyl discs are emerging as a respectable medium for recording and playback, I reckon that only professional musicians nowadays know what open reel tape systems are.)
“Finding old MUSIC you used to love is like
getting back in touch with an old friend.”
As the media transitioned from vinyl discs and open reel to cassette tapes, we transferred favorite albums from our library to the cassette medium, and onward up the tech chain to digital media. We still own our audio stack comprised of stereo amplifier, stereo turntable, dual audio cassette recorder, and dual disc recorder/player, with two speakers which would make modern speakers sound pathetically anemic. However, operating all that equipment has become more like work than pleasure. Spotify to the rescue! Within a matter of a few hours of browsing, voila! Favorites galore in various genres from long ago to more recent artists. And Spotify streams vibrantly through our laptop wired through our amp and stereo speakers.
One of the many joys of life this side of glory is beautiful music. The world of my mind and my heart is touched deeply by music. I am moved to sing and to write and to live more deeply by the melodies and rhythms I hear. They must be melodic and lyrical to impress me as beautiful. They must have rhythm and resolution or I am left despondent, agitated and ill of soul.
“Music and Rhythm Find Their Way into the Secret Places of the Soul.” –plato
I am as gladdened by a stirring rhythm as any true music lover; I am known to dance and do a little controlled head banging to the beat of a great piece of rock and pop music performed well. I can groove and praise God at the same time.
There is, however, an entire genre of sounds which are peddled as “music” but which are nothing more than irritating harrassment and vexation to the mind and heart. Any musician who contrives the mischief of pointless cacophony and vain discord punctuating it with an unrelenting, stomping, jack-hammer percussive beating, leaves a harmful imprint on the human soul. Music ought not to be used as a weapon of a wrathful and vulgar spirit, but as the gift from God it is meant to be: good and true and beautiful.
“Your heartbeat changes with the music you listen to.”
Since music is a fair and glorious gift from God…
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”
This is a time for us who are trusting in the sovereign providence of God over all things to be…
…speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.”
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
Here is a link to a long ago favorite, newly captured on my Spotify playlist:
Here is a link to a old classic newly discovered and captured on my Spotify playlist:
Here is a link to a worship piece on one of my playlists:
Note: I am not receiving any compensation from Spotify for my references and links to my playlists. However, you can sign up for a free Spotify account to listen to these shared pieces.