Music for me is transformational and transformative. It has the ability to move me from one space in time to another. It has the power to allow me to reflect, and it soothes me in a manner that few other conventions can. Listening to music is a part of my daily regimen and as I’ve said many times before, in the words of India.Arie., “How could I live a day without music?” Music can elicit emotion, but interestingly enough not always motion. Let me explain.
I am awake. Its early. My alarm clock is playing classical music, but I don’t want to move! Earlier than I’d planned, but the Holy Spirit is in cahoots with Daylight Saving Time and instead of dreaming about being in a tropical location and getting in some zzzsss before the day, I’m up writing. Daylight Saving Time provides the benefit of being lighter longer in the evening, but until a little later in spring, it also brings about unearthly darkness when bodies are accustomed to sleep. It further disturbs one’s circadian rhythm and causes sleepiness when alertness should prevail, and the opposite. Instead of buying the notion to “spring forward” there is a longingness to “fall back.” Interestingly enough, this doesn’t seem to only hold true when it comes to Daylight Saving Time, but also in moving forward and pressing toward that which is better for us.
When I hear music, specifically a song, it has the ability to catapult me back to the space in time and conjure a memory. Sometimes, its music from the new jack swing era, that I recall during a party in the student center while in college, or “I Like It” by DeBarge that I played during my science experiment with Shaunette Johnson in elementary school. It might be “Home” as I stood in the window of our apartment and sang and dreamt aloud of the life I would have, or “Changed” by Tremaine Hawkins when I rededicated my life to Christ. I realized at some point in my life, that this transformative experience is not only applicable to me, but others as well. Its evident at social gatherings, concerts and particularly church. A song can be sung and it stirs emotion, but again, not always motion.
A few weeks ago I attended a worship experience. The Holy Spirit swept the room, and it felt as though heaven was open and we could feel the presence of the Lord. It was one of those times whereby anything one needed from the Lord was tangible. It was so sweet, so overwhelmingly powerful that I wanted to just remain in that space as long as possible. As God’s people cried out, “Hallelujah!” “Praise Him!” “Glory!” I felt so secure. The concerns I entered with dissipated. I’m uncertain of how long we were in this space, but eventually, the music changed and someone got on the mic and began singing. The singer began to sing words like, “I’ve been so alone,” “There was no one who understood me,” “I didn’t know what to do.” All of a sudden, it felt as though heaven closed. Instead of God’s people crying, “Hallelujah!” the words changed to those that were inaudible. Just loud cries. Louder each time the singer affirmed through her notes a dry, isolated and painful place. In that moment, there was a disconnect. For in the space of worship, the healing that went forth in the atmosphere was suddenly consumed and not welcomed to do its job, because the desire for the pain prevailed. Instead as likened to Daylight Savings Time, there was a undeniable desire for some in the room to “fall back” instead of “spring forward.”
My sister friend, Dr. AY Bryant spoke recently at a conference I attended. She opened her address citing the opening from a book entitled, “The Salt Eaters” by Toni Cade Bambara. The lines read, “Are you sure sweetheart, that you want to be well?” I think God asks us that question through worship. It would seem that the answer would be yes, but its not always that simple. Movement requires acknowledgment of the fact that one place is insufficient in comparison to another. It requires rejection of a present state in exchange for perhaps the unknown. It requires walking by faith and not by sight.
I write this post after submitting my letter of resignation for a position I’ve held the last 7 and 1/2 years. It would be easier to remain in something that I know and knows me. With people who I have come to appreciate and love and who share those same sentiments toward me. Moving on is going to require vulnerability. Inevitably mistakes. The opportunity for others who don’t know me as well to see my flaws. And that’s scary. But not as scary as not taking a risk.
What I love about music is that it doesn’t require sight, much like faith. Just as tempos, beats and lyrics usher you into another dimension, so does faith. Its steady and occasionally skips a beat, but its constant. Allow me to change it up a bit, “How can I live a day without faith?”
The history of Daylight Saving Time is steeped within a framework to allow us to save energy for production. Thank you Holy Spirit, I get it! Faith allows us to save energy for production. For when we truly enact our faith, we worry less, and we spend less effort manipulating a thing for what is perceived in our limited knowledge to be for our benefit. When we instead place our trust in God we allow him to act on our behalf and move us to the place of receiving his love, and his intent to load us daily with benefits (Psalm 68:19). Those benefits are life, health, strength, wisdom, movement and the list goes on.
Just as our bodies tell us when we need sleep, our spirit should tell us when we need God. Just as through our circadian rhythm disruptions put us in conflict with our natural sleep patterns, we must identify those areas in our life that put us in conflict with God. Just as we must keep a regular sleep schedule, we must also maintain a regular worship schedule. Understanding our rhythm allows us a sound restorative process, and understanding God through our faith provides a sound restorative process that only benefits our days, but our nights, our “good days” and even our “bad.”
Worship gives me life. It has the ability to lift what burdens me and provides liberation. When I am tired, its not always the result of my lack of sleep and rest. Sometimes its a result of the fact that I’ve been carrying something that I’m not built to hold. When I worship, I am given space to reflect and commune with God. I am reminded of who I am connected to and that I am designed to worship, but not because of the weight, but despite it. I’m still not crazy about Daylight Saving Time, but I am crazy about God! And I’ve got Crazy Praise! Listen to the link below and I promise you won’t drag around during these first few weeks of this spring forward thing! Looking for the perfect beat people? Faith is mine! I must get mine! I’m out to get it!