When my wife and I were taking a walk the other day, the sounds of the neighborhood, the wind rustling through the trees, the joyful noise of children playing, neighbor’s talking on their balconies, and the beautiful serendipity of the moment was broken by the sound of a radio blasting through the atmosphere. When I looked around I discovered that the source of the intrusion was emanating from a car being scrubbed at the car wash station near our apartment building.
From the smile on his face, it seemed that the gentleman washing his car was oblivious to what was going on. The doors on his car were wide open and music from a local station projected throughout the immediate area. It reminded me of the time many years ago when I was washing my recently purchased first car. I was proudly cleaning my little black MGB in my parent’s driveway with music literally blasting from the two stereo speakers I had positioned in the window of my bedroom that faced the driveway.
At one point a neighbor from across the street came over to see my new acquisition. The only problem was that we had to yell in order to hear each other! He was a fairly young guy and didn’t seem to be bothered by the loud music as we talked… or shouted to each other about the car. After he left I had the fleeting thought that I probably should have turned the music down, but that idea quickly passed and I went merrily on my way, blissfully ignorant that I was most likely disturbing the whole neighborhood!
I thought about attention grabbing, music and the noise we project to others as I read from Isaiah 12:2 this morning. I especially like the way that the God’s Word © translation puts it saying: “Look! God is my Savior. I am confident and unafraid, because the Lord is my strength and my SONG. He is my Savior.”
Music has always been a major part of my wife’s and my lives. We were both raised in musical families, we both play instruments (although Piper’s musical talents FAR surpass mine), and we enjoy all kinds of music styles from old fashioned Rock ‘n Roll to Classical Symphonies. We actually enjoyed listening to all the various styles of music our kids experimented with as they grew up and both Piper and I enjoyed going to our older son’s Ska band concerts back when he was in his late teens!
I have very fond memories of the musical strains flowing from the big Magnavox console Hi-Fi radio that held a prominent position in our kitchen when I was a kid. My Mom loved to sing. She had sung in a popular trio in her high school days and introduced us three kids to the fascinating world of music through the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Mario Alonzo, Perry Como, Andy Williams and many others. She also enjoyed hearing the artists that we listened to as we grew up!
While Isaiah 12:2 tells of how the Lord has become our song, Psalms 40:3 talks about putting “a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God…” (God’s Word ©) I think that this psalm best describes the home that Piper and I established for our family. It seems that we were always singing around the house. Whether we were crowded around the piano singing Christmas Carols or preparing for something we were doing for the church, we sang a lot… and still do.
In fact, I was singing something to my wife the other day when I noticed that she had this kinda funny look on her face. That look made me stop immediately and say: “You look like you’re trying to say ‘Alright already with all the songs!’” It was then that I realized that I find it very easy to turn almost anything into a jingle! Maybe it is one of the ways that I deal with the pressure of the attack on my wife’s health. But whatever the reason, it does help to keep me joyful and sane!
The scriptures though, seem to be saying that music and song is more than that. I feel like it is declaring that the songs we sing give an accurate picture of who we are. Now, I am not necessarily talking about the style or even so much the lyrics we sing, but the attitude of the heart from which we make our music. In other words, is the song of your life a tune of joyfulness, of thankfulness or of praise to God… or is it a tune of complaining, fear and a hopelessness that is based on your dependence on the things of this world?
When you walk into a room, what do people hear? This may sound funny, but what do people hear when they look at you? Do they see or hear someone who is causing them as the conclusion of Psalm 40:3 reports of the ones who see us singing a new song unto the Lord to “see this and worship (Him)” and move them to “trust the Lord.” (God’s Word ©)
I realized the power behind the songs we emanate to others as Piper and I sat in our attorney’s office awhile back. As we were drawing up the guardianship papers I commented at one point something about never thinking about that I would ever have to be in this position, and as soon as I uttered those words I regretted it. The mood in the room immediately sunk into the depths of hopelessness! I tried to reverse the mood with some uplifting conversation, but the damage was done. I vowed from that point on to keep the conversation Christ centered by focusing in on our expectations of His best for Piper’s recovery. Songs about the Christ life is the only music that will lift up a depressed and dying world!
So… what song is your life singing RIGHT NOW? Is it a song that is disturbing the peace in your neighborhood or a melody that enhances the environment by bringing the lyrics of peace, joy and earnest expectations of God’s best for a person’s life? Let your life be a new song sung unto Him! Have a great day. Stay in tune (no pun intended!) to God’s Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting those around me to HEAR today?”