Monday, April 28, 2014

"I Write the Songs"

Last week I was out walking my dog, and I was looking for some music to listen to while I walked. I scrolled through my iPhone menu and settled on something I had not listened to in a long time.

Don't judge me….okay, you can - I judge myself.

It was Barry Manilow. A greatest hits album.

Yeah, I know.

As I walked, and as I listened, I realized these songs did not appeal to me like they used to. Not because my musical taste has changed. (Although it has.) Not because I now realize just how cheesy his music is. (Although I do.) No, it was something more. Something that was a window into my soul.

Unlike when I have listened to this music before, I did not identify with the lyrics. At all. Music isn't just a collection of notes and chords. It is a powerful way to pour your heart out. And these songs….nothing. I felt nothing.

And as I walked, I thought…why not?

As I thought about it, this is what I came up with. In the 45 years or so since 5th grade, I have spent somewhere around 35-40 of those carrying a torch for some girl. Sometimes a girl that I was actually dating; more often, it was a crush that was never returned.

Rebecca. Amy. DeeDee. Jody. Betsy. Lori. Angie. Frances. Jaime. Linda. Stephanie. Cathy. Beth. Donna. Beth (yes, another one).

One after another, there was stream of young ladies that would cause the lyrics of these cheesy songs to tug at my heart. All wonderful girls (or women, depending on my stage of life). All worthy of having a guy pining for them.

But as I listened the other night, the songs went flat. Why? Because I am at a place in my life where that kind of pining away is just not happening. And that's a good thing.

Paul, speaking of material goods, said in Philippians 4:11, "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."

Me too. While I firmly believe that romantic love is a wonderful part of God's plan for the earth (and thus we are all here), and while it could be his plan for me one day, it can easily become an idol. That is probably the very definition of "pining." I love being at a place in my life where I am content. If God brings a woman into my life - wonderful! But right now he wants me to pour my life into family, friends, and those he shows me who need his love.

Contentment. Whether it's money, love, comfort, or work, that is God's will for me. I pray that whenever I'm tempted to get restless in any of these areas, he will remind me of how Barry Manilow's music went flat for me on a night in April.

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