When I get goosebumps, I know I should pay attention.
This morning, I was brainstorming ideas for the 31 days of posts I’ll be writing in October and listening to music on YouTube when this video popped up. I hadn’t even selected it, it was just in a Christian music queue, but my hair stood on end as soon as I heard the tune. I listened to the words, and then felt that someone who visits my blog was supposed to see this today.
Whoever you are, this is for you. Though I don’t know what’s on your heart, He does.
I went into my son’s room just now to get this picture. My focus was really going to be on those two albums to the right – by TobyMac and Skillet. But one of our dogs followed me in and the picture turned out this way, which I think is kind of cute.
See how her right ear is flipped out? She’s a dog in motion, about to leave the frame to go sniff the pile of dirty clothes behind her and then settle in on that pillowy blue chair on the left side of the photo – all because these things are comfortable smells that remind her of my son. She likes to be around him. So do I.
And that’s a great thing. I’m savoring it because he’s 12 and I’m not sure what the teen years will bring. But I can tell you what he and I share right now. Music.
I was taking him to Tae Kwon Do practice last week, when “We Won’t Be Shaken” by Building 429 came on the radio. My son absentmindedly began singing. Strangely, the car was quiet. His siblings were both lost in their own thoughts. My son didn’t realize I was listening to him. Singing. Every. Word. Right. To. The. End.
When you finish reading here, click on the YouTube link below and listen. Perhaps you’ll understand why I was hiding my eyes, filled with tears of joy, when he hopped out of the car a minute or so later.
When my kids are in the car, I listen to either Christian or classical music, with few exceptions. Yes, I enjoy other genres of music and need my daily dose of news (when young ears aren’t listening), but I like the atmosphere that this music creates as we go about our activities together. And I also believe that the media we consume has an effect on what we feel, think, and become.
Scripture confirms this.
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.” (Matthew 6:22)
The things we look at, read, and examine closely make their way into the fabric of our being and either work for good, or not. The books we read, shows we watch, music we hear, people we spend time with, matter. We need to choose wisely.
When I was about my son’s age, my dad gave me some Christian music that I listened to frequently. He had taken some time to figure out what was popular with young people in the 80s, and made selections that he thought I might like. He did a good job. The words of those songs made their way into my heart. I didn’t stay with the faith through my tumultuous teen and college years, but the lyrics I had learned and the Truth they spoke of, never left me. And when I was finally ready to turn toward the loving whisper that was gently beckoning me, I knew those songs had played an important role in my faith formation. To this day, “El Shaddai” by Amy Grant is still one of my favorites.
So, I’m listening to the radio, and to my kids, paying attention to which artists, both secular and Christian, they are responding to. And I’ve gone out on a limb and bought my son, and my daughter, CDs I think they’d enjoy with messages I’d like them to hear. I’ve been blessed for my efforts, because they are playing those CDs, singing along, engraving Truth on their hearts without even realizing it. Some of this music isn’t exactly my taste, but it’s definitely grace in action.
First, to my Followers, please accept my apologies for the notification you received yesterday concerning a post called “Lucy and Aslan.” I had just started working on a draft of that post and inadvertently published it. I could delete the draft, but not the notification. Thus, when you try to view the post, you get a message saying it is not available. Please bear with me, a very new blogger! I will resend that post when I complete it.
Today, I’m hearing a song in my head, one that plays there more often than any other. It doesn’t repeat ad nauseum; it never drives me crazy. You know what I mean….You hear a song on the radio, a portion of it gets stuck in your mind, and it plays endlessly, torturously, until you want to rip your hair out? No – it’s not like that at all.
This is a song I learned as a child, and now, it is sung from the heart as a praise offering. It’s “Doxology.”
Most Christians of Protestant traditions are familiar with it, and many Catholics are not. But there’s nothing theologically controversial about it. It was composed and first published by Anglican Bishop Thomas Ken in 1709, and the lines were actually taken from the closing stanzas of three of his other hymns. If you’d like to read more, here is a succinct article on the subject: