Music has always been influential in my life. I never studied it in school really, a few years of choir here and there, but it speaks to my soul. It’s the easiest way for me to get into a place of worship and really sets the tone mentally. I love walking into church when the music has already started, it gets my blood pumping and I’m ready to worship! Nothing can replace the power of a well-written song.
As I’ve gotten older and developed a deeper appreciation for music it’s heightened my worship experience. I know everyone worships differently, and I love that, but for me I can just close my eyes and let the song flood my thoughts & quiet my mind. There are so many Christian songs I can list as my favorites, for so many reasons, each one speaks to me differently. As I mentioned the other day I love By Your Side for the conviction I felt. One of my current favorites, and inspiration for the title of my blog site, is Thrive by Casting Crowns. Their music always tells a story or speaks encouragement. This one in particular made me stop and think when he says, it’s time for us to more than just survive, we were made to thrive. I think as Christians we get so comfortable in our routines and caught up in life that we don’t realize we’re just getting by, not thriving. Some people may feel like they can’t live each day to the fullest because they have jobs, kids, responsibilities, etc. But I think it comes down to a mindset, your perspective on life. Surely God knows we have to maintain a job to afford to live, but if we stop and take a look around at all that’s going on, we can thrive in the sense of putting our best foot forward and seeking out ways to serve Him. Rather it be by paying for the person behind you in a drive-thru, speaking kind words to a stranger, or better yet when you want to be rude. I think there are many ways we can thrive if we just learn to refocus our thoughts.
Music keeps me encouraged in ways that nothing else can. I can be in a bad mood and I’ll hear a certain song, and sure enough it somehow takes away the negativity. My second favorite part of Thrive is the line that says, joy unspeakable, faith unsinkable, love unstoppable, anything is possible. It’s such a powerful message to me. It sums up in 8 words the greatest outlook on life! One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that joy can be found anywhere, not just in circumstances. No one can take it from you, it’s yours so long as you choose to keep it. Faith unsinkable paints a vivid picture in my mind of an anchor. I know it sounds counterintuitive considering an anchor’s whole purpose is to sink to keep the boat in one place. But I see it in my mind from the scripture that says we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, as not allowing our faith to be tossed about, but rather, secured in the knowledge of who Jesus is.
I also love other types of music, from Celine Dion to Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson to Josh Groban. Music is, to me, the greatest art form because it’s so personal. Since I love words the lyrics take on a deeper meaning for me. I’d always loved music, but as kids my sister would listen to songs and write down the words as she heard them so she could learn what they were saying (ah, the good ol’ days before CD cases with song lyrics, and Google). It was really then that I started paying more attention to what the song was actually saying and appreciated it on a deeper level. Of course I also learned the words to certain songs and was shocked I’d been allowed to listen to them!
If ever I get the inspiration, I’ll write a song. I’ve penned a few verses here and there as I’ve gone through trials but they’ve not come to fruition. Maybe it’s Gods way of telling me to be optimistic and I’ll be on the other side before I know it!
If music isn’t your “go- to” therapy, I suggest you give it a try. If nothing else you’ll experience the heart and soul of strangers and perhaps relate a little to their story.