The songs in the back of your head

I have noticed that my mind plays background music a lot. Maybe it is a product of growing up with radios and CDs and iTunes. In any case, I can often get clues about my mood by paying attention to the song. In prayer, I often hear songs from Christian artists that have played recently on the radio. The other day I was in a great mood and enjoyed the beat of Uptown Funk. And after a mind-twisting mental exercise I groaned as Bohemian Rhapsody started looping in the background. Just goes to show that you have to be careful what you listen to!

But it brings up the idea of music, and the place it plays in our lives. It is one way that rational thought connects to irrational emotion and expresses the unspoken thoughts of the soul. And yes, there is a great poem from George Herbert called Church Music:

Sweetest of sweets, I thank you: when displeasure
Did through my body wound my mind,
You took me thence, and in your house of pleasure
A dainty lodging me assigned.

Now I in you without a body move,
Rising and falling with your wings:
We both together sweetly live and love,
Yet say sometimes, “God help poor Kings”.

Comfort, I’ll die; for if you post from me
Sure I shall do so, and much more:
But if I travel in your company,
You know the way to heaven’s door.

Herbert has a series of poems on the church windows, floor, and other pieces of a building that he molds into spiritual metaphors. And it is no different with the music. It releases us from the tyranny of daily cares. It is something that the Bible often encourages:

Colossians 3:15-17:

15 Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking. You were all called together in one body to have peace. Always be thankful.16 Let the teaching of Christ live in you richly. Use all wisdom to teach and strengthen each other. Sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Everything you say and everything you do should all be done for Jesus your Lord. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus.”

And God even sings over us! Zephaniah 3:17 says,

The Lord your God is with you.
    The mighty One will save you.
The Lord will be happy with you.
    You will rest in his love.
    He will sing and be joyful about you.”

So God, with all this singing in mind, thank You for music. It is a strange phenomenon in the world. I take music for granted in everyday life, but it is a beautiful expression of thoughts and feelings. So thank You for music in the back of my head. Please help me to sing praise to You, especially in the hard times, and wonder that You sing over me. I love You, Amen.


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