Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Music and Miracles

"Music is the voice of miracles."

That's what I had etched onto the back of my iPod shuffle. How amazing that God has created our world such that some emotions, sentiments, memories or longings simply cannot be captured with words. The notes, the melodies, the tones, chords and tunes can, at times, convey meaning that was never going to enjoy the match of a well-turned phrase. The arts hold such an important place in the human experience. Poetry, canvas, sculpture and music carry meaning, but much more. Rather than simply conveying the content of a message, they convey the experience of it. The "feel" of a particular truth is delivered by the arts that propositional prose will struggle with. No wonder that the song book of the Scriptures is found in the middle of the Bible.

A broad spectrum of human emotions can be communicated, and experienced by music. I am particularly fond of, and reliant upon, music for fully exploring the depths of my emotional caverns. Mourning, celebration, love, hate, sadness and joy are represented in my music collection. I gravitate mainly to classical music (which includes modern film scores), but also include some country and rock as well.

Take the category of joy, for example. How could one remain in the doldrums following the musical set below? View it, and then honestly evaluate if you were not uplifted.

See. You likely could not help but tap your foot, bob your head or smile at least a little. I will go so far as to suggest that one's music collection is second only to their Bible for shaping their worldview, attitude and emotional ebbs and flows. For this reason, families used to keep their personal hymnal next to their Bible on the table. What you sing to, tap your foot to or in any way allow access to the deeper recesses of the soul that only music can invade determines a great deal about your character and spiritual well being.

Really, music's work is often measured in those layers of the human condition that typically only God can miraculously transform. For me, such a miracle occurred in Georgia when I was given a gift token to Turtle Records. I used it to buy two classical music tapes (Mozart and Beethoven). That change of music marked a significant change in my spiritual evolution. Before that I couldn't care less about spiritual matters or growing in Christ. After that, the music seemed to open up my heart to truth like it had never been open before.

I encourage people to pay close attention to the music they imbibe. It's likely having a much greater influence on you than you realize. Not that you evaluate the music so much that it can never have its effect; but some evaluation is necessary because of the powerful (and yes, miraculous) effect that the music will have on you. It does for me, and I suspect I'm not alone in this.

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