Thursday, November 20, 2008

Music and Meditation

I've been using Pandora to listen to music at work. I can't choose the exact songs I want to hear but I get good variety within a genre and it's been a great way to be introduced to "new-to-me" artists. Recently I realized I could bookmark songs I really like, and further realized when I viewed my bookmarked music, I could easily download those tunes via Amazon (or iTunes). Yippee! 17 new songs! (Sorry, I am not an iTunes user so I can't offer you an iMix, and I can't even snag a list to post here).

So that's the music part. Now for the meditation. Yesterday morning I was blessed to spend a few hours at a nearby retreat center. I knew I wanted to spend some time in the first few chapters of I Samuel, in the story of Hannah. A book I read a few years ago had some guidelines for a retreat based on this story. Tonight while walking at the local rec center, listening to my new music on my MP3 player, I found myself still considering my reading from yesterday. And the coolest thing happened. Song after song seemed to reflect thoughts and prayers she might have had. And I was able to totally immerse myself in Hannah's story through the music.

This has also been the case as I've been listening to Charlie Hall's new CD, Bright Sadness, and especially the song New Year. I've also been reading through Colossians lately. Part of the lyrics of the song New Year remind me of how deep and full Paul's joy must have been, in contrast with his life as a mission of hatred before he came to Christ:

My heart beats like a drum, flying up with the sun,
I grab your hand again.
Renovated with life, my eyes again bright,
And you are radiant.

Where hope can hold my hand of sorrow,
and we can walk into tomorrow. . . .
This is a new year, this is a new day to rise,
Shine, and point the way to God's great life.

Both of these experiences have given me another way to appreciate the power of story in Scripture, as music has given these Biblical characters a whole new dimension for me. I love how God always finds ways like this to get through to my heart.

So I'm curious. Are there any worship songs that help you live more deeply into the stories in Scripture? How does music play into your worship?


Katrina said...

I'm just getting into Pandora, and am really loving it. And I also love when the music I'm listening to lines up with whatever God is teaching me or whatever I've been studying. I think God likes to orchestrate things like that!

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

Well, don't I feel like a boob. I downloaded Pandora for my new iPhone but never once, even considered, downloading it for my laptop. Duh. An a-ha moment if there ever was one :) I'll have to do that soon :)