Being a music lover, I’ve gone to many a concert in my 29 years. I grew up secretly “borrowing” albums from my mom’s CD collection, back when being in a mail-order CD club was the cool thing to do. Many weekends, my mom and I would hit I-95 to head out to the Walnut Creek Amphitheatre in Raleigh to hear one of her favorite artists. I’m guessing I surprised her when she noticed I could sing along to all the songs at my first Alanis Morissette concert — not my proudest 6-year-old moment. Needless to say, her CD collection was moved to the top shelf of the bookcase after that particular show.
Nonetheless, even an unreachable CD collection couldn’t stop my love affair with music. And live music? What a treat! I would find any reason for my mom to take me to see live music. I even asked to go see my 60-year-old, 6th grade P.E. teacher play in his beach music band in a run-down, hole-in-the-wall restaurant one summer when I was in middle school. And, after seeing NSYNC perform at the “Dean Dome” at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in ’01, I knew I had the whole college thing figured out. Desperate? I think so.
But I had to be around music. It moved me. I needed to feel it pounding in my chest. I needed to know every lyric, every guitar solo, every era, every genre, anything I could get my hands (and ears) on.
I had a good friend in middle school, a best friend, who introduced me to my love of lyrics — figuring them out, what they meant, where they came from and what they said about the human race. We’d write out lyrics we didn’t understand and pick them apart until we did. I found myself dissecting songs I had heard a million times, trying to find a song I identified with past the good beat and interesting melody. I fell in love with words written beautifully. Poetry moved me. Songs came alive for me when I could find a lyric I could sing with all my heart because it felt like my own. Where my words failed me, music explained me.
I found a song for everything — missing my friends, graduation, heartbreak, feeling known and seen, dancing, happiness, freedom. What a release it is to sing a song that resonates with you deep in the core of who you are. It makes you feel like someone gets you. It lets you know you are not alone.
I think that’s why I love worship music, which is just like that but on a whole different playing field. It helps me “get” Jesus.
At WCLN Christian 105.7, we have a portion of the day we like to call Midday Praise. It’s an hour and a half of worship music, full of lyrics centered around who Jesus is, how Jesus is and how we should respond to his love and grace. Boy, am I always rocked to my core. Connecting that truth that I am loved beyond anything I could ever imagine with a song that digs deep into my heart really connects what I know with what I feel, or at least what I desire to feel. I definitely know Jesus loves me ... but I want to feel it, especially on days when it feels otherwise. Worship music helps me do that.
Check out Midday Praise if you get a chance, every weekday from 10:30 a.m. until noon on 105.7 FM. I know I need a little extra peace during the day. Maybe you could use it too.