What is this epiphany you talk about Janie?
Well, I'm very glad you asked stranger.
First off, I am putting aside all the hate out there for lots of contemporary worship music nowadays. Or as some people call it "Jesus music." I agree that there are some songs and a handful of artists out there who we hear on the radio or on iTunes or Spotify that are just kind of cheesy sounding Christian music. I get that. I'm not saying I like all the music out there on 99.1 JoyFM (a Christian radio station in St. Louis).
What I AM saying though, is that aside from those handful of cheesy sounding songs, I absolutely adore worship music...Like I don't just adore it, but I ADOREEEE it man (or lady) -- everything from old hymns that I remember growing up in my traditional presbyterian church to Chris Tomlin's contemporary tunes.
Not too long ago I was contemplating why I love worship music so much and why on the other hand it is hated by some people. Some songs out there are just kinda superficial-sounding in a way, and it seems like they just decide to throw some Christian lingo in a catchy tune to make it a hit to everyone listening to the radio or their iPod. But again, aside from those handfuls of songs that are not very deep, I think worship music in general is absolutely WONDERFUL. It is uplifting. It is soothing to the soul. Even more so than dark chocolate. And if you put two and two together, eating dark chocolate while listening to worship music is just like #WINNING :)
And I digress.
Back to the epiphany which I haven't even told you yet. I'm just rambling I think. Oh well. It tends to happen every now and then.
OKAY SO! Focus Janie. Focus. Ummm.... Oh yeah. Getting my mind back on track...work with me here y'all. Work with me. .....I'm getting really distracted as I'm writing this because I'm sitting outside on our screen porch on this beautiful Wednesday afternoon in June, and there's so many pretty birds on this bird feeder that's in front of my eyes! As well as lots of selfish squirrels who are smart alecks and are trying to hog all of the bird food. Crazies. Go take a hike squirrels.
Janie, I ask you again, what is this epiphany you speak of?
I woke up in the middle of the night a couple of weeks ago and it hit me why I am always in the mood for worship music and basically always listening to it without getting sick of it. For me, words are hard. Talking a lot is hard. Not because I am an introvert (which I am), but because of how my brain works. I am a woman of few words (usually). My brain works a lot differently than most -- thinking and verbally processing and comprehending and coming up with opinions and words most of the time is a challenge for me. It may sound silly, but this is part of the way God made me. He gave me a little learning disability that I have been having to learn to deal with since I was in fourth grade. It makes school and just life in general interesting for sure :)
With that being said, even praying and coming up with things and thoughts to talk to my heavenly Father about is not the easiest. Especially if I am praying out loud in a group. I know a lot of people feel uncomfortable with praying out loud too because of internal fear that you won't say the right things or that you're "bad" at praying. It actually really bothers me when people say they're bad at praying. Hello people! Christians, hear me out, THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO PRAY. You do not have to be the smartest theologist or philosopher or genius to know how to talk to God. He wants to hear from you whatever it is that's in your mind and in your heart because HE LOVES YOU and wants to TALK TO YOU as your Father and Friend and King and Savior.
So, what I'm saying is that I totally get the uncomfortable feeling that praying out loud in a group can be like. 110%. Words are hard. Personally, my brain likes to make praying even more difficult with me even though I want to talk to God and tell him everything. I have that desire. SO BADLY. Often times, I don't know the words to say at all and it has been frustrating to me before. I'm just like "BRAIN, please work with me! I'm trying to talk to my close friend, Jesus, here thank you very much! Just give me somethin!"
Then it hit me.
Worship music. Listening to the wonderful and beautiful truths about Christ and all that he is and all that he does and all that it means to live with faith in this broken painful world is something that I L.O.V.E. Worship music is a big way in which I pray. I pray along with the truths about Jesus in these songs. I get to lift up to God the words in music that are often times based on passages in the Bible. These songs become my prayers. Every one of them. Whether some people think songs that I like are cheesy or not, they are my prayers. They help me and guide me and my thoughts by giving me words to praise God with or ask for forgiveness or help. These worship songs remind me that I am a sinner in DESPERATE need for a savior. They lift me and my soul up on good days and on terribly hard and frustrating and painful days where I feel like I'm living in the darkness and each step I take feels like I'm trudging through mud. These songs give my heart peace as I hear the beautiful truths sung by very gifted artists with lots of musical talent! I am not one of these btw! I can't keep a tune on my own, much less play an instrument lol. Music is defs not in my skill sets, but that doesn't take away the fact that I adore listening to it and praying along with it.
This was my epiphany. This is why I love worship music so much. Words are hard for me, but these songs about the gospel guide me with words to lift up and pray along with to God my King!