Right now, you should stop listening to music.
Now, look, I just terribly troubled or offended people by saying that. Unfortunately, I think, therein lays the problem and its one you probably never stopped to think of:
"How much importance does music have over my daily existence?"
I know, some of you may not think that because you play music daily that it is a bad thing and, to be honest, I'm not saying that it is...per se. The truth I'm pointing to here is that many of us don't see the option of music being turned off as a viable one.
When you go to drive to the store to get a drink, MUSIC IS ON.
Waiting for the bus on the way to work or school and, MUSIC IS ON IN HEADPHONES.
You are heading out to play some sports or work out and to get psyched up, YOU TURN ON SOME ROWDY MUSIC.
And, those are just some examples. I could have talked about how we use it to heal grief, to have sympathetic connection for our longing, to enhance our feelings of sadness or happiness...its a long list, folks.
But, whether those are good ways (or bad) to use it, well, its subjective. I'm only speaking of it, though, because I had an experience that I found helpful and thought some of you may want to try in that, I read a scripture that I finally paused on long enough to take seriously: 2 Corinthians 6:12 - "Everything is permissible for me" - but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is is permissible for me" - but I will not be mastered by anything.
This scripture made me stop and think and I wanted to look into what it spoke to me so, I began taking things that were "habits" or stuff I just did all the time, and stopped doing them. Sometimes I take a week, a few times I did months. I stopped watching weekly tv for 3 months. I cut my internet time down to 3 hours a week for about a year. I spent 3 weeks without music on.
What I ultimately learned is that these things I indulged in, especially music, have their place and time...but they aren't NECESSARY to my day-to-day. I am more than just the songs I listen to and how those relate to my feelings or stir them. Now, when I choose to turn it on, I can listen to music and enjoy it for what it is...or I can sit, walk, ride, etc, without it. I find that those moments are ones where my thoughts are at their most crisp, where my clarity is dominant and shines through on what concerns my heart. Its where I hear God the clearest as I pray.
And regardless of whether you want to take that time to pray or not, I think if you just Stop the Music for a little while, you'll learn some things...and maybe even hear something that usually gets drowned out by the cacophony:
- Conduct Lionhardt