Friday, November 2, 2018

The Impact of Music


                In a religious or secular way, music speaks to us. I was a low brass, mostly tuba, player through college. I really miss playing. There are a couple of times I remember playing at North Dakota State that were those truly magical, musical moments. One happened during a concert, the other during a rehearsal. The first was during a performance of a song called Trauermusik by Richard Wagner. The other was during a pre-concert rehearsal of Darius Mihaud’s Suite Française, specifically near the end of the fourth movement, Alsace-Lorraine. I couldn’t tell you exactly what it was that touched me about these moments, perhaps it was simply how everything blended together just right at that right moment that made it special. When you consider those were both over a decade ago and I still remember them, it should tell you a little bit about how significant the experiences were.
                Today, music speaks to me in a slightly different way. Pretty much the only new music I listen to is contemporary Christian. There are many songs that have come out recently that have impacted my life at a specific time. I Wanna Go Back by David Dunn was one of them. The idea of simplifying things, simplifying life spoke to me at the time it came out. Breathe by Jonny Diaz is another.  The need to step back and take a deep breath when things seem overwhelming is a lesson we all must remember. Reckless Love by Cory Asbury strikes you when you truly listen to the lyrics. Those three may not have the same impact now as they did when I first heard them, but they were what I needed to hear at the time, and they do still speak to me when I listen. God gave me, gave us, His message through them. Matt Maher’s All the People Said Amen is another song that holds a special place in my heart. Aside from being a wonderful, upbeat song, I have another reason for loving it so much. But that’s another story for another day. Today, there are two songs that, when I hear them, pause my life and make me consider God. One is So Will I (100 Billion X) by Hillsong United. The other, also by Hillsong United, it called Who You Say I Am.
                So Will I talks about the power of God and our need to worship Him. “If the stars were made to worship so will I. If the mountains bow in reverence so will I.” How can we not worship this powerful God? How can we not lift our voices to Him in praise? This is the God that created everything, that breathed life into Adam, that breathed life into us. I was listening to this song in the car yesterday, but the lyrics for Who You Say I Am were stuck in my head. It was an interesting combination…. Who You Say I Am starts out with a question, “Who am I that the highest King would welcome me?” and it ends with the answer, “In my Father’s house, There’s a place for me. I’m a child of God, Yes I am.” That last line gets me every time I hear it. To think of the love God has for us, that He has a place prepared for me in heaven, for me, strikes me in a powerful way.
                In six months, those last two songs may not have the same impact on me as they do today. But I pray I will always remember that last line of Who You Say I Am and the truth spoken through it:

In my Father’s house
There’s a place for me
I’m a child of God
Yes I am

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