Music Is More
D-o-w-n up; down-up-down-up; down moves the pick. “Zrri” go the strings from fingers switching chords. From the mouth come the words, “I have strayed from grace, put another idol in its place.” That’s a picture of me playing guitar and writing my own song in the process. This is one of the more recent ones I’ve written; I have a whole notebook full of similar ones. And not only are these songs in a notebook, but they’re written in my daily life. Music is all around me–at least that’s what I believe.
I first explored this concept the summer before my senior year of high school. Conflict existed in our church over the worship styles in our services, and I supported the side favoring the guitar. After all, I was in the praise band, and I played guitar. On top of that I had just gotten to the point where I could start playing and writing my own songs. Of course I still wanted to use that in the worship service. And as I explored this theme, there came an opportunity for me to preach in church one Sunday. I sat and thought what I should speak on. The cool thing is I had the luxury of meditating on the topic for a month. Which by the way, I used every minute to its fullest.
As I put the sermon together, I began to focus on what it meant to worship. This topic was dividing our congregation at the time, and I wanted to delve deep into what true worship looked like. Personally, I thought it looked like a guitar with drums and singers. Others in my church thought it looked like an organ in the back with a focus on the altar and the pulpit in front. What’s so important about this practice? I thought. I poured over scripture looking at what the Bible said about worship. After reading, I came to this conclusion: Worship is more than what I sing or play in church, worship is the way I live my daily life.
I not only write songs on my guitar, but I write them in my life. I believe that when I interact with anyone, I am writing a song with my notes and melodies, strums and chord changes– all impacting the way I am seen as an individual and the way my love for God is made known. After presenting the sermon, I believe a part of the wound dividing my church was healed. By focusing on the world outside our church, I believe we all came to the same conclusion about music.
Music permeates life. It’s a powerful, unifying force in which people celebrate, cry, laugh, tremble, and play together. Music helps the world to open up; music allows me to be transparent with the world. I can be transparent with my God, family, friends, and strangers. I can serve openly helping to make the world a better place. This I believe: music is more than songs on a page.