Putting problems in perspective
It is playing even now as I write: that same old CD I have been listening to almost every day now for the past five months. I must have listened to this set of songs close to 150 times. And since you asked, yes, I am still enjoying it and plan on continuing with my lovely listening tradition at least until the end of April. The sad reality is that we will be moving then, and unfortunately this CD came with the house.
Not everyone around is quite as enthusiastic about this degree of repetition. If you happen to be familiar with any unflattering psychological terms (e.g. obsessive-compulsive, etc.) that might describe such excessive behavior, someone I know – not to mention any names – would be happy to hear from you. For after casually suggesting that I might need to buy my own copy now, I discovered that could be grounds for divorce. Some people just have no appreciation for good music. Of course, I am kidding.
Please understand that this is just a bit of friendly banter. And yes, maybe you can have too much of a good thing.
But why is it that I find Revival in Belfast by Robin Mark so endlessly encouraging? Aside from being too lazy to change the CD, what is it that keeps me coming back to this music again and again and again? Whatever it is, I have immensely enjoyed this live, celtic worship music, recorded at a church in Northern Ireland. Makes me want to paddle across the pond someday and take in the whole experience for myself. For music produced in a place of perpetual conflict has turned out to be some of the best music I have ever heard. Just what I needed, right now. How else can I put it except to say that it has given me a little lift each day.
Why mention this in a career column, you say?
Well, as important as it is to clarify your career and life direction, the whole process can start to feel like yet another duty or problem it you focus on it too much. Before you know it, it begins to drag you down. You have bills to pay, groceries to buy, a car to fix, a few kids to cart around, company to cook for, and now, a life to plan. Great. Just great. One more thing. How in the world are you ever going to get it all done? You’re swamped. Something has got to give. It feels like you have enough to keep you busy well into the next decade – maybe longer. It just never ends.
I can relate.
May I suggest taking some time each day to turn your attention away from your daily responsibilities and problems, and then focus on Someone who is bigger than your biggest problem and is actually larger than life? Might do you a world of good.
For all I know, there are likely 57 or so deep and different, practical and profound, reasons for worship music. One reason that comes to mind, is that the worship experience may well be a good indication of healthy brain activity. Body…check. Brain…check. That type of thing. And it is a whole lot cheaper than a CAT scan. If, for example, you catch a glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean for the very first time, and respond with apathy…something is probably seriously wrong with your brain. A neurotic neuron or two may have recently staged a coup. No offense, but you might want to add “Get brain fixed” to your list of things to do. Sorry to say, but you have yet another problem.
It works the same way with God.
A second reason has something to do with the practical benefits that result from having a properly functioning brain. If you have been to the ocean lately, did you find that you forgot about your problems while you were there? I did. My guess is that you did too – at least for a while. Because the ocean is awesome. It seems to sooth our spirits as it captures our attention. And do you know what? The ocean didn’t make itself. The entire ocean is really just a drop in a bucket. The ocean-maker is awesome on a whole new level.
As an aside, if “awesome” sounds outdated and old school to you, or has been used far too much where you live, please insert another wonderful word.
Getting back to your many problems. Rather than focusing on your problems over and over and over again, why don’t you decide to focus on God over and over and over again? Give it a try. See how you like it.
You might be surprised to discover that sometimes, occasionally, endless repetition does make sense.
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