In our house, it’s all about the Sting Channel.
Robby and I started listening to music through Pandora awhile back. I love everything from contemporary Christian to Blues, so I must have dozens of music channels saved in our queue.
But for our everyday groove, we stick with the singer-songwriter Sting (formerly of the Police). Pandora plays his songs along with similar artists, such as Sade. We find their music soothing, without being boring.
If you think this is an odd choice for a young married couple, you’re right.
I blame my father.
When I was 16, my little brother was born, and I moved into the bonus room above the garage. At that time, my dad’s musical instruments were up there, including his bass guitar. He would practice every night to whatever music featured the instrument he was playing. Sting and Sade were frequent picks.
I often enjoyed listening to him play, appreciating his skill and the opportunity to chill with my dad.
But sometimes, I would get frustrated. Like any teenager, I wanted to talk on the phone, check my email, or watch TV. I wanted my privacy and to be left alone. It wasn’t like we were really visiting, anyway; he was practicing and I was just listening. At those times, Dad’s music didn’t sound so sweet. Instead, it was annoying.
Only in the last few months, as I’ve sung along to all those familiar tunes, have I begun to appreciate the impact of those years listening to Dad practice. It’s like his music seeped into my heart and laid buried there until I needed a good melody to fill my own house. And now that I’m older, I can appreciate that Dad wanted to hang out with me; we didn’t have to exchange words to have quality time together.
God works in our hearts in a similar way. Although we like the direct give-and-take of answered prayer, and we seek the powerful messages that come through dreams and visions, God often approaches us with a gentle sound, a small voice, a whisper (see 1 Kings 19:11-12). Like any good father, He wants to be near us, and for us to want to be near Him.
Sometimes, we like what He’s doing; it fits into our schedule and how we want to spend our day. We hear the song God is playing over our lives, and it sounds pleasant.
At other times, we feel that God is invading our personal space, and we get frustrated that we don’t have any privacy. We feel Him working in our hearts, exposing our personal thoughts and feelings, and we just want a break. We’d be happier if the music stopped for a little while.
We need to realize that God isn’t working in our lives for the sake of the moment; He’s preparing us for the future. He’s getting us used to the sound of His voice, to the melody of His Spirit. If we will listen and store that away in our hearts, we can carry it with us wherever we go (see Deuteronomy 30:14).
There will come a day when we need a little music, something to get us through a difficult situation or the doldrums of daily life. We’ll search for something meaningful, and His tune will come to mind. We’ll begin to hum the lyrics of His Word, and we will fill our lives with His Song.
If you’re feeling resistant to what God’s doing in your life, I totally understand. But I encourage you to stop turning a deaf ear to what your Heavenly Father is doing. He has some amazing lyrics to sing over you in a beautiful melody of grace and joy (see Zephaniah 3:17). All you need to do is listen.
“The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will extol Him” (Exodus 15:2 NAS).