After a long, hard and stressful day at work, I would leave angry and ready to attack. I would pack up my crap, walk to my car and think to myself "what kind of music will make me feel better". I tossed around my options to help me cope with the anger; something hard and something up beat. My attitude reflected a type of music that I thought would make me feel better. I would earnestly flip through my iPod and find the right song. Crank up the volume and let the tone and words soak in. This was my peace; this was my lie.
Jumping forward to a couple years back; I was angrier and more bitter then I had ever been in my life. My marriage was on the rocks of divorce, my Christian walk was non-existent and I had no friends. I spent a lot of my time building cabinets in my back shed. I am a carpenter by trade and could do these little projects when I felt like it or when the opportunity became available. This project allowed me to stay mad. It allowed me time away from the chaos of my marriage and my overall life. I would get home from work, eat and head out to the shed to be alone with my tools and my music.
As I would put my plan of attack together for the project, I would have already decided on a band or type of music. Let me think, something to reflect my attitude... hard and angry rock. The problem was not in the first few times working out there, rather it was when the project needed closer attention to detail and my head had to be free. This was the time when I decided to change my music or better yet, change my influence. This was when my music preference changed forever.
iPod Play: Fight Club Soundtrack
I am a huge fan of Fight Club, and apparently of the background music as well. I had it stored on my iPod so it was an easy option to choose. What was the difference? There were no words. What does that mean? There was no lyrical influence and therefore nothing to sway me to a particular thought or memory. It was just the instruments, just the beat and so much more. This music allowed me to keep track of numbers, sizes and dimensions. It helped me stay organized and under control. This changed everything.
iPhone Play: Pandora Fight Club Radio
As my life turned around, my marriage recovered and my project finished. I found a new love in this type of Downtempo style music. My car rides after work became calming instead of intense and angry. I am no longer involved in the standard copy of music on the radio. To be honest, I can't stand the radio anymore. Most of all, without the words in the songs running through my head, I can pray, I can reflect on ideas, I can get out of the bad things of life and jump where ever I please. I honestly find myself praying so much more and reflecting on the important things in life with this type of musical influence.
Don't get me wrong, I love occasional rock. But my moods and my influence do not depend on what culture is putting out there on "popular" radio. I suppose classical, jazz or other type of wordless music would also work. The point is to keep your mind free for the things Christ has for you and wants to share with you. We should always be listening.
How Do You Let Music Influence You?
Can you relate with this scenario in your own life?
Let's compare and share thoughts.