Several days ago I was sitting in my kitchen floor waiting for cookies to finish baking. My toddler and the little lady and I were listening and dancing to music on the radio while we waited. And then I heard a new song, and I had to stop and really listen, absorb the words- feel the song. And, when it was over, really think about it.
Surely you've been there before..
You hear a song and it just hits you. The emotions overflow and you feel something. Sometimes it feels deep and soul stirring. Sometimes it is just surface level.
Depending on the song, the emotions can range from joy and elation, simple pleasure and enjoyment, to tears and sadness, or maybe even anger and frustration- music is designed to move you.
Not every song will move everyone the same. And some music will make us cringe and change the station. In fact, some " music " might not sound like music to our ears. But as with any art form, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Truthfully, I do not know a lot about music in a technical way. Beyond a brief class in elementary school, I haven't had much in the way of instruction. The only instrument I can play is guitar, but it's only a hobby and it took way too long for me to learn the little bit I do know. I love to sing but can't carry a tune in a bucket.
And yet, I can still appreciate and be moved by what I hear.
"Music is the universal language of mankind " Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said (and apparently there is a study to back this now.. Go figure!)
It's no surprise then, that music is a major form of media used to send messages to people. To stir us into action (good or bad). Or encourage complacency. Keep us distracted.
The lyrics of Josh Wilson's "Revolutionary" aren't really a new concept or anything, but the song is a wonderful call to action for christians everywhere. More than that, it is a call for us to question society, and ourselves.
And as I listened the other day, this new song got me thinking. Particularly, the lines "why does kindness seem revolutionary? When did we let hate get so ordinary?"
When did we let hate get so ordinary?
I don't pretend to have all the answers and I know ultimately the simple answer would be because we have allowed the enemy in. He comes only to "kill, steal, and destroy."
I also know there are a lot of factors at play on a human and sociological level. But something a pastor once shared came to mind as I pondered these lyrics- this question -and music in general. He said "all music inspires worship."
So, what are we worshiping?
A quick scroll through the popular radio stations of the last few decades reveals a lot. We hear a lot of hate. We hear a lot about using people. We listen to anthems of self or self hate. We hear things like "f you" and " I don't feel like doing anything" or "I don't really care about anyone else but me" and the list goes on.
And then we play this stuff as background music while we shop, drive, wait in line...even at kids birthday parties. It blares on at dances and picnics. And our kids know all the words..
So if that's the background noise, if it's the subtle beat of our days, is it really any wonder? I think not.
This call to be revolutionary, then, might be as simple as " turning that TV down" or changing the sound, the words that hum below the surface and punctuate our days.
And you know, listening to this song might be a good start 😉