Thursday, January 05, 2006

Music as Anitdepressant?

If music really is a drug, then i must be addicted.

Recently i've been getting stressed out a lot. I could write paragraphs about why but i'll spare you. But yesterday i was praying again and realizing again that this just wasn't how i thought the Christian life was supposed to feel. If we were stressed, wasn't it supposed to be replaced by joy and encouragement? Wasn't I supposed to be happier? Well, no revelations during my prayer time, but later when i went to work i grabbed some of my old tapes to play in the car on the way. (I don't really like any of the radio stations around here.) And somewhere between home and work i think is when i realized that this was what i had been missing.

I was a pretty happy kid, but i think most of my memories of feeling happy was when i was singing. As a teen, the radio or tape player was always on in the car, always Christian music. My mom liked a lot of the same stuff my sisters and I liked, so we really enjoyed listening to Stephen Curtis Chapman and Ray Boltz together. Every camp or convention or event i ever went to was saturated with music, and i had so much fun singing. I was even on several singing ministry summer trips with other teens in my district.

But somewhere in college i think is when it stopped. I didn't drive many places and I spent a lot of time studying in silence. Then around when i graduated i drove a car that was so noisy that the stereo was pointless. And, somewhere in all this i heard at least one sermon talking about the need for silence in our lives, and suggesting that leaving the radio off was one way to turn down the noise. So as a result of my circumstances, my pursuit of academics, and my well-meaning pursuit of silence, the radio has been left off a lot.

Generally, when Christians say they need more silence in their lives, they mean that we need to get quiet so we can hear God. But even if the radio is off in the car, my attention to my driving makes it a pretty bad time to be listening to God anyway. But what i think i'm noticing is that sometimes, i hear God better with the music on than when i'm sitting quiet. If you read my other post about music you know that i've noticed that music reminds us of things, or communicates things to us, that we would have missed otherwise.

All of this is to say that i think that good (usually Christian) music is what reminds me of God's goodness and helps me regain my perspective. It encourages me and helps me find the joy that i need. It helps me step back from all the things i have to get done in a day. It gives me something to worship about and distracts me from the things I would complain about.

So i'm writing this partly to publicly thank God for what I think is the answer to my prayers, and partly to reccommend to any of you other Christians out there who wonder why you don't have much joy anymore that some do-re-mi could possibly be just what you need.

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