Encouragement in songs

During scary times like the corona age we need lots of encouragement. I sometimes like to turn to 1970’s and 1980’s pop music, because it’s hard to be worried about anything if you soak in enough of those mindless upbeat songs about discos and teenage love and walking like Egyptians. But on occasion, I like to listen to these songs in case there are messages from God waiting for me in there, because believe it or not, I think I’ve gotten direct messages from God hidden in lyrics of mindless pop rock in the past.

Now, getting messages in church hymns is no big trick. Hymns are written to purposefully show God is there for us and loves us. But to find direct meaning in a pop song about something you were thinking about or worried about takes talent and a certain amount of being open to possibility and unexpected connection with the universe. And I don’t just mean turning lyrics about romantic love into lyrics about Eternal love, I mean something even more specific than that.

I have several examples of times that random unplanned lyrics unexpectedly jelled with what I was specifically thinking about at that very moment, but one of my favorites was from one afternoon several years ago. It was mid afternoon, and I had gone through my entire list of chores and projects I had wanted to do for the day, so I was quite satisfied with my effort and was considering stopping for the day and vegging out in front of the computer. But it dawned on me that I still had about 2 hours before dinner where I could accomplish more, so I said (out loud) to myself, “Let’s keep it going, Mark.”

And so, to “keep it going”, I turned on the local radio station that played a variety of music from the 1970’s to the present. Usually they played present day “teeny bop” music that only my children would like, but on this particular day the very first song I heard was from the ’80’s group, “The Cars.” It was “You might think,” and the very first line that I heard was, “you kept it going.” Wow! Talk about giant goose bumps up and down my spine! To me that was God directly saying to me “good job and keep working”. To someone else, that might have seemed like just a coincidence, but in the heart of someone who needs daily encouragement and connection with God, messages can come from anywhere. Even silly ’80’s songs. Thanks for reading my fifth blog.

Mark Inglis

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