Today, I was riding home from work on my motorcycle and was listening to the beginning of song on a new album I had just loaded onto my cell phone. By the way, one of my favorite things to do is listen to music that's plugged into my helmet while I ride. It's probably the only time of my life I truly own where I don't have to worry about anything else - well, except for traffic, pedestrians and stray dogs chasing after me!
Anyway, the song I was listening had this intro that started with a harmonica, some light strumming of a guitar, and soft singing in a somber kind of mood. I was really digging it, as it was calm, peaceful, and reminded me of the beginning of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. You know, the part where you are in the swamps of a bayou floating in the dark preparing for the big drop. As I was listening to the song, I came up on a very slow car going like 10 mph. We're in a neighborhood, and I realize there's really no reason to pass, so I just meander behind him and find myself swaying to the music (about the best you can on a bike). I was totally slowed down but it didn't even bother me! Shortly afterward, I made a right hand turn on to another road and passed by this very old, not-too-well kept house, that had a very old man sitting in his yard. Not too weird, but this guy wasn't wearing a shirt, had an odd, but amazing skullet haircut and surrounding him were assorted, rusty old tools. Normally, I wouldn't think too much into this but while I was putting through this neighborhood, listening to this bluegrass intro, I realized that the moment just fit.
Most people wouldn't think that this was a significant event at all and, actually, neither do I. But, it kinda goes along with something I've observed in my life. I have always been drawn to music. I love listening to it and basically have it on all the time. I listen to mainly rock, but have expanded my interests to pop, R&B and even some country. What's amazing to me is the impact it has on my life. For every song that I've heard or regularly listen to, there's usually some memory that goes along with it. I even run across certain songs or albums that have perfect timing for what I'm going through.
When I listen to classic rock and stuff from the 80s, I generally can remember some of the people and experiences I went through as a teenager. To this day, I still think of playing football with my neighborhood friends back in Saginaw, Texas, as I hear any song from Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet. That's probably because I constantly listened to that album at that time, and one of the older dudes a few houses down from where we played would blast "Wanted Dead or Alive" from his '65 Camaro.
A lot of times, listening to music just simply calms me through tough, stressful times or allows me to clear my head. In those times, I'm able to focus on the goals of my life or maybe focus on God if I'm listening to worship tunes. Sometimes, I actually think God takes on the role as some spiritual DJ, because I seem to discover songs that speak directly at a situation I'm going through. It sounds weird, but I honestly believe that.
Several years ago, I went through a very difficult time. Probably the lowest valley I've ever experienced. At times, I found myself staying very secluded and depressed. Certain songs gave me inspiration as they kept me focused on God. Two albums stand out in this tough time. I'm not promoting these either - I promise! One was Worship God, by Rebecca St. James. I'm not exactly sure why I was so addicted to that album, since it was nothing similar to my normal spin, but God really spoke to me through it. The other one put a little fight in me and helped me keep my head held high to press on. It was Truthless Heroes by Project 86.
Sounds strange that I would put so much emphasis on timing of music, but in a way you find a way to connect with the artists that are sharing their work with you and possibly experiencing similar situations or emotions. They almost, in a way, become distant friends, especially if they stimulate healthy emotions and point you in the right direction that isn't clouded with hate or worldly glorification. I'm really thankful that in my life, God seems to know what I want or need to listen to at any given moment and can use it to speak to me at just the right time.