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Saved by Music

musicGot to thinking about music the other day. I don’t know what music means to other people, or what part it plays in their lives – very few people talk about it with much depth. I can think of a few people (well, four) whom I believe are strongly affected by music – thankfully, one is my husband. I’m so glad we share this passion – someone with lesser enthusiasm would have had difficulty understanding. Jonathan and I own 600 CDs and hours of music saved on MP3 players, and boxes of cassette tapes that we can hardly bear to part with despite increasing difficulties with playing them! I can remember the first Christian album that made an impact on me – it was the Maranatha! Singers Praise 10 album – to this day, I listen to it frequently, not from nostalgia, but because I still enjoy it thoroughly, even 20 years later. (Incidentally, my collection includes most of the Praise series, of which there are 20 albums). When I was in my early teens, my dad started listening to a lot of classical music, and it was at this time that I fell in love with Vaughan-Williams Fantasia on Greensleeves and Tafelmusik, for example. To this day, Dad and I ¬†share a love of music,¬† which has given us a mutual interest through years where our contact was minimal at best. Working as a nanny in my early twenties I developed a taste for opera, and decided that Vivaldi was my favorite composer. You see, there were plenty of hours to listen to music, and I had access to the collection of my employers and to the local library. I listened to classical music constantly, and my acquaintance with musicals such as “The King and I” grew as they were something the children enjoyed. The fascination with Celtic music grew by leaps and bounds as my relationship with Jonathan progressed. It seems that for every time in my life, there was a musical accompaniment.

All this, perhaps, is not unusual. Those with a lesser need for music can remember songs that meant various things to them throughout the events of their lives. I entitled this “Saved by Music” because I really feel that music was instrumental in developing my relationship with God. I didn’t always have access to a God who was portrayed as gracious and loving…for many years, I was concerned that I could never be good enough to warrant His attention in any significant way. The God preached to me at church wasn’t always someone that I felt I could please. However, the God of music – the God who was sung about by Maranatha and other singers was someone that I could serve – someone with whom I could have a relationship. I felt like it held me though some very difficult times.

My life today is full to overflowing. There is so little time for playing musical instruments, sewing, or reading – three pastimes that I really enjoy. Most days are so full that I don’t know where to start, especially with the lack of energy due to working full-time nights and homeschooling my children. The one sacrifice that I cannot make is giving up music. I need it too much. On days when I feel overwhelmed, some Bach in the background adds enjoyment to my daily tasks. Days when I feel discouraged, some singing from the church in Cloverdale reminds me of what is most important of all, making my problems pale in comparison to the promises before me. Riding in my car, I can snatch a few minutes to worship the Lord through a song that really speaks to me. Andrea Bocelli sings when I cook Italian, and YoYo Ma whiles away a rainy afternoon. Bond and Avalon help me houseclean. The Fables help me deal with missing Newfoundland. I guess the problem with this near-fanaticism is that one must just about keep it to themselves. So often, I have enthusiastically shared some music with someone who did not share my fanaticism, only to be disappointed in their lackadaisical reception. I have reached the point where I share music with very few people. I don’t know if people just don’t have time, or they’re just not that interested. That’s okay. I feel like music has saved my sanity more than once, and no doubt will continue to make a very big difference in my days….

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