6 am Sunday morning just a few months ago and the alarm clock is screaming…get up!
Maybe I was just having a grumpy day or maybe it was the Sunday morning chaos:
finding something to wear that doesn't need to be ironed, searching for the boy’s tennis shoes, only to discover them soaking wet on the back porch...yelling at the kids “get in the van, we gotta go, I'll buy you donuts from the cafe, again...”
I'm not sure what was going on with me that day but somewhere in the middle of my vocal warm up about the time I hit the 45 toll plaza I asked myself this question: why do I do this? Why do I get up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning so I can get to church an hour before everyone else? Why do I get home from work on Tuesdays, scramble to get homework done, find something decent to feed my hungry children and drive back into the city for rehearsal? Why?
Well, that’s a good question
I decided probably, as a member of the Shoreline Worship Team, I should have a good answer….so opened up a memo in my phone and started making a list of Why I Sing. I’m going to share a few reasons with you today.
At my very core, I just love music. It is hard for me to listen to the radio and not sing along. I've been singing all my life. My mom read those lovely sing-songy nursery rhymes to me and my daddy sang with me. We have ancient cassette tape recordings to prove it. My parents planted a song in my heart and then they bought me a record player when I was about 4 years old. I wore that thing out singing along with vinyl. I treasured my children's records. My parents had a few LPs I used to play too like Freddy Fender – I don’t know how his music made it all the way to ND?? and Lynn Anderson - I loved her because we had the same name …I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden.... It was awesome when I graduated from my record player to a cassette player and cool new technology called song search where I could listen to my favorites over and over
Music became a big part of my life. My parents paid for years of piano lessons and voice lessons.... They were very generous and so encouraging along the way. All through Jr high and high school I sang with a small ensemble that traveled around the city sharing the vision of the fledgling Christian School I attended. Looking back, I was so confident then, it feels like there is so much more at stake at 41 then there was at 14. Honestly, I am thrilled that I’m still singing. I feel so privileged to be a part of the music team here, even on my grumpy days…
I love music and I love that it is a universal language. It transcends cultural, generational and language barriers. There are hundreds of people on our planet who can sing and I mean SANG! Just think about the recording artists in all the different genres out there right now, then think about all the people who've been making a living at this in years gone by. Add to that the thousands of people with beautiful voices who fill our choirs and stir our hearts. For those of you who only sing in the shower, you know you sound good in there!
Throw in all the brilliant musicians and it is easy to see that God very generously covered every corner of the earth with musical talent, and placed inside each individual an innate appreciation for that talent. Being the genius God He is you know there has to be divine purpose to it all. I believe there is a sacred connection between God's out-pouring of unique and varied musical gifts and our bent toward worship. Because that is universal as well, isn’t it?
We are all searching for something to worship, something that captivates our attention. We honor, adore, glorify, and idolize many things. Our souls were created to worship and music is the language of the soul.
Music is universal and it is so powerful! Isn’t it great how a song can take you back in an instant to another place and time? Or touch you deep inside, inspire and lift you up. Music stirs our emotions, but it is also very scientific. There is a great body of research on how music affects the brain. One of the most fascinating things I’ve heard involves an area of grey matter called Broca’s Region. Touch your left ear, move above and to the front…right about there is Broca’s Region. This part of our brain functions like a gatekeeper. It decides if any input that comes across our path is actually worth thinking about. One source I found called it the blah blah blah filter. It is easily bored with the predictable…Surprise is a great tactic for getting past Broca. Great story-tellers know this. Music has an amazing affect on Broca…That whole area of our brain lights up when listening to music. It has a measurable affect on learning. I see the combination of words and melody like a power punch. We might think it is a little odd to say… God, the creator of the universe, ya, he’s my friend. But we’ll sing I am a friend of God…and the more we sing it the more we believe it. After a while a thought that seemed implausible becomes a part of who we are. Music is a powerful tool to help us embrace truth.
So I keep getting up on Sunday morning, I memorize new lyrics, I practice and expend a lot of time and energy. Why do I do this? I love music. I love being a part of something universal and I believe in the power of music. I believe in what we do as a worship department at Shoreline and I know without a doubt that people’s lives are being changed as we sing.