Thursday, September 30, 2010

What is music for anyway?

Believe it or not, I have struggled with the question above.  

When I was a child music was a call to dance, to dream, to escape to somewhere else for the duration of whatever album I (or my sisters) were listening to.  After Jesus found me, music became a way to adore Him.  I loved to sing about Him.  I learned to sing about Him in the youth choir at my church.  I learned about dynamics, tempo, and vibrato.  I learned that some people were very serious about music indeed.

Later, music became a way for me to communicate to Him... not only adoring Him by singing about Him, but realizing I could sing to Him.  This was an amazing discovery for me and a lesson that was unfortunately lost on me in my younger years.  Anyway, I became very passionate about singing to Him, about worshiping Him not only in voice and instrument but in any other way I could think of (or that someone else could think of!).  

I learned (sort of) to play the guitar.  I played and I sang and I taught and learned a lot about worship.  It didn't take very long to learn I wasn't a great musician.  Part of that comes from being surrounded by oh-so-very musical people.  People who are very skilled indeed in making music.  I tried to improve my musicality with lessons and seeking out various instruction.  In fact, my musicality did improve.  But I put away my guitar, and I didn't seek out opportunities to teach about worship so much anymore.  Instead I focused on my technique.... which, by-the-way, I was still convinced would assist me in doing great things for the Lord.... at some point.
I stopped singing songs with my children.

I did teach a worship class for our homeschool co-op, I sang on a worship team at church, but my guitar was collecting dust, and.... I didn't sing at home.  We didn't sing at home.  If you know me, that is a huge confession.

In thinking about it, I know now why that happened.  It's the same reason why I don't write as much as I would like to.  It's because I know that in someone's eyes..... whatever my expression is, is not going to measure up.  And maybe my own worst critic is me.

Now, how incredibly pathetic is that?  It's tragic and sad and a waste.

I wish not to be so wasteful.  Not that I am being wasteful of talent, for my talents are meager indeed, but I have wasted something far more precious.... worship.

By singing and writing and dancing and drawing and creating in anyway you can dream up, we are giving worship because we are doing what we were created to do.

 11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
       you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
 12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
       O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.  (Psalm 30)

 6 I will sing to the LORD,
       for he has been good to me. (Psalm 13)

 1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
       it is fitting for the upright to praise him. (Psalm 33)

 6 Sing praises to God, sing praises;
       sing praises to our King, sing praises. (Psalm 47)

4 All the earth bows down to you;
       they sing praise to you,
       they sing praise to your name."
       Selah  (Psalm 66)

 33 I will sing to the LORD all my life;
       I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.  (Psalm 104)

19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,  (Ephesians 5)

16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3)

 13Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
   "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
   be praise and honor and glory and power,
         for ever and ever!"  (Revelation 5)

I dusted off my guitar this morning.  As soon as I started strumming, the Audience of One drew in a congregation of three plus one puppy.  I couldn't remember all the chords and my rhythm was shaky at best.  Our voices didn't exactly come together as one heavenly choir.  Our pitch was iffy.  We sang about His awesomeness, we praised Him.  He was worshiped.

It was beautiful.  No one could convince me otherwise.

I learned an important lesson this morning, one I hope not to quickly forget....

and maybe that's what music is for.


  1. Thank you for being brave for our edification :)

    "It's because I know that in someone's eyes..... whatever my expression is, is not going to measure up. And maybe my own worst critic is me."

    sadly, it is true for most of us. i know it's been true for me.

    earlier today i stopped by Pete's (, he has a video clip relating to this very thing - - pleasing others, finding validation in/from others.

    oh, the Sacred echo.

    i rejoice that Truth has spoken... it is all about 'the Audience of One' :)

    "By singing and writing and dancing and drawing and creating in anyway you can dream up, we are giving worship because we are doing what we were created to do."

    may your life of worship continue to find expression through your many talents, all to the glory of our Father God!

    wish i would have been there this morning (with my bucket by my side :)
    i love you, dear one.

  2. just in case... you know the expression:

    i can't carry a tune in a bucket :}

  3. I can totally relate - I've completely lost the music, albeit for somewhat different reasons. Somehow, I'm ok with it though, because I'm enjoying the anticipation of the day I get it back - your today!

  4. This is a beautiful story. And I'm so glad you found your voice for him -- I am convinced it's music to His ears.

  5. I'm so glad you dusted off your guitar this morning. I've been there before...wanting to stop writing because I will never measure up the the "greats"...but when I stop, I feel like I'm missing out on worship and a part of me dies.

    So, I hope you'll keep singing, writing and worshiping our awesome God.

    Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts.

  6. i put down my guitar for almost two years and just picked it up two weeks ago. my talents are meager, but they are talents nonetheless. so i will play, not for praise, but to worship and aid others in worshipping our great God.

    thank you for your post. :)

  7. my husband is the one who taught me that worship is always vertical. if at any point i wonder about those around me (horizontal) then it ceases to worship. i also know what it is like to be "mediocre" around really talented people (and in a talent i really wish i owned!)... but worship is love to our lord, nothing more , nothing less. i love that you were able to sing ot your audience of One. and i can't wait for you to sing to your children. b/cs they get it!!

  8. this is SO special.

    Oh How HE was delighted today! I know it! :) He loves us SO much.

    thanks for sharing this...

    amy in peru

  9. oh, oh...


    beautiful in brokenness, you are.

    i play a rusty guitar too.

    join me, and we'll lift him loud in praise, friend. love to you.

  10. Thank you for being so real. I can so relate to the measuring up trap. Glad you're experiencing freedom and enjoying worship with your guitar and sweet S and SG! You are beautiful, sister! Love you!