Heart Music

Heart Music

I feel fortunate to be a person who likes a wide variety of music and I’ve gone through multiple musical phases in my lifetime.  I like country, classic rock, pop, hip hop, southern gospel, and contemporary Christian.  Sometimes I study to classical music, but please don’t torture me with rap or screamer rock.  I want my music to fit my mood, so I’m a compulsive channel hopper even with my own playlists.  I just generally enjoy music and there is almost always some tune playing in my head.

I also really love to sing.  I make a joyful noise unto the Lord and…well let’s just leave it at that. 😊

Because of my natural love of music, it’s an important part of my worship.  Sometimes I crank it up, sing at the top of my lungs (with the music loud enough to drown out the sound of my own voice), raise my hands, and just let it go as I’m driving down the road.  Alone, of course, and I don’t look around either.  I want to be completely oblivious if someone is staring at me!  I have some of my best worship time alone in the car.

I’ve also had great worship in an auditorium full of people.  One of the reasons I love conferences is that the worship music is usually top notch.  Having been a student at a Christian college, I’ve had some great experiences with future worship leaders who were still just getting a feel for who they are as musicians or singers.  I’ve attended churches with great worship leaders.  I’ve also attended churches where the worship leader wasn’t necessarily my style.  I’ve worshiped with bands, orchestra instruments, just the piano, the piano and organ, keyboards, a guitar and the “box,” even acapella.  What I’ve noticed is that I most enjoy singing to my own preferred style of music.  If a song strikes a chord with me (pun intended), I feel more worshipful when I sing that song.

Conversely, I have to struggle to feel like I’m worshiping to music I don’t personally enjoy.  Remember that I said I like all kinds of music?  While that is true, I don’t like to sing all types of music.  First, I have the vocal range of a cheap walkie-talkie and second, for a woman, my voice is incredibly low (or so it seems to me) — not mannish, but I couldn’t hit a high note if you paid me.  Since I love to sing so much, I’ve found that I tend to dislike songs that I can’t sing.  For years in church I would sing certain songs and, honestly, just hate every minute of it.  I would sing because everyone else was singing.  I would sing to be a “team player.”  I would sing not to insult the worship leader.  I would sing because I thought if I learned the songs, I would like them better. 

Finally, the day came when I stopped singing.  I gave up the struggle.  Do you know what I found out?  It’s very worshipful to listen to others sing music that they enjoy.  I simply stopped to listen.  I had an awakening.

Old hymns are not usually my favorite, but the previous generations in my church really like them.  When I stopped trying to sing and closed my eyes and just heard them, it took worship to a whole new level.  I was able to step outside myself and worship through them.  I was no longer struggling to make notes my vocal chords just won’t make, and I simply listened.  I listened to their joy and love for the songs.  The old hymns have deep meaning for some people and it’s evident when they sing them.  It is their heart music.

My heart music is something else.  I generally want to rock the house and the more southern or soulful, the better.  Give me simple tunes with repetitive choruses.  I want to feel the emotion in the song, especially if you slow it down.  That’s my heart music.

So I began to wonder… What will it be like in the presence of God?  Will we each sing our own heart music at the same time, each hearing our own tune [think Pentecost]?  Will God hear a finely-tuned orchestra of voices?  Will the sound bring him joy?  Is this why he made music?  And so many different kinds?  One day we’ll know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *