Monday, September 14, 2015

I Like the Music

I have recently discovered that you can upload all the pictures you ever took ever on your phone or iPad onto Shutterfly. They store them for free. This is good news for someone who is constantly getting an angry message shouting about things like low iCloud storage space and needing to buy more if I want to preserve my life or want to show I care about future generations just a little bit.  Shutterfly's free storage also means that now I have pictures scattered all across the whole internet, in various clouds and websites and such. Which also means I and my future descendants will never, ever access all the selfies that have been taken in 2015.

I admitted to my life group last night that I do not like worship music. Apparently there is a raging debate in various church circles over what sort of music should be played when entering a church building on Sunday morning. The church in question--not mine, mind you--has been caught playing secular rock music on Sunday morning. I can see both sides, since, hey, it's church, and it's a time of praise and worship--so we play praise and worship music. What the heck do you expect? The other side of the coin is well-played, too, because a lot of people are like me and actually just don't like worship music. Note: this does not mean I don't like God or am raging against the machine by listening to The Weeknd and Guns N' Roses and Jason Aldean all in one day. Second note: This also does not mean I hate all worship music. I like certain worship songs. But not worship songs ad nauseam, which seems to be the habit of churches and radio stations alike. It simply means I like variety. Which no one except Pandora or iRadio or Spotify can seem to supply. And even then, variety is a theory that Pandora doesn't even seem to get. (As in: I DON'T WANT TO HEAR THE SAME SONG IN THE SAME AFTERNOON. EVER.)

When I freely admitted that I do not like worship music, my life group counterparts were a little aghast--which I could see, we were in church, after all, and the whole point of worship music is to worship--and they were all like THEN WHAT DO YOU LISTEN TO? HYMNS?

The reality of the situation is that no, hymns are not on my top 10. They bring back a certain nostalgia of the past, and I occasionally enjoy a hymn or two. A choir is also a good thing. But I like to move, and I like to dance, and I like to work out to a good beat.

So here's my two cents: when you start listening to or watching or doing something because you think you have to rather than because you want to, it becomes a pointless game of trying to earn marks for good behavior, which we all know is a fruitless exercise. There is a fine line between legalism and freedom, so I also don't think you can just going around town doing all the things you want to with no consequence. It's a heart issue. And the heart is a tricky place to navigate, with all it's pride and stubbornness and just all the issues. All the issues. So when a song comes on that I like, I don't turn it immediately because it's bad or because someone else will think I'm bad for listening to it or even because I might think I'm not allowed. That's following rules. Instead, I ask myself: should I be listening to this guy sing about all these things? Is this good for me? Is it edifying for my spirit? Would I want someone to say these words to me? Am I growing from this song? Would I want my kids to listen to and repeat these lyrics? Would I repeat these lyrics? Sometimes the answer is no, no, no, no, no, no and no, and I don't turn it off anyways because I just like the darn song, okay!  But sometimes, I know in my heart that it's more important from an eternal perspective to just turn it off than it is to listen to it in the here and now. The desire for immediate gratification doesn't always just apply to the young and errant. It applies to me, too. And it might be worth fighting against.

My iPad, by the way, is four years old; an ancient old-timer in the world of technology. It's still chugging along, even though it's become crotchety in it's old age and sometimes refuses to work like it knows it should, making me want to scream and throw it out the window before I remember how much we paid for that guy. He still plays Pandora, and he still has all my precious selfies, and he is still (when he is not deciding to just shut the whole thing down) uploading to shutterfly.

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