Our home has been filled with the sounds of worship from the beginning of our marriage. Back in the day it was Kirk Franklin, Michael W. Smith and Phillips, Craig, and Dean. Our kids woke up to it, came home to it, and had to watch us seat dance in the car way too often. Still today, there are moments when we crank up the volume and get our dance on. And no, you can’t see it. There is one rule, no cell phones. We’ve recently discovered there’s a dance gene in our lineage. Each week we get to keep our grandson, Carter. He’s almost one now, and for the last three months he has begun to notice music. Sunday, we were with him at one of our favorite hamburger joints, Bub’s in Carmel. We had all just set down when suddenly it hits him, the boogie in his behind. Somewhere he hears music, and he is bouncing, waving his hands in the air, and occasionally doing the sprinkler. He fills the table with laughter, gives us a smile, and a look like, “what, don’t you hear the music too.” Carter’s love for music and the boogie in his behind has given he and I a common bond. He comes to visit often, free childcare for Jake and Risa, and purpose for Mary and me. Since we’ve discovered his love for music, I’ve made it my priority to peruse Spotify in search of something that might set off his boogie, and at the same time teach him some nursery rhymes and old school Sunday school songs. We’ve hit our common ground with a group called, Go Fish. It’s not the old, tired sound of kids, but a group doing some pretty amazing acapella stuff. They do some incredible remixes of nursery rhymes, Sunday school songs, and even some of the good old hymns. Carter’s current favorite is their version of “If you’re happy and you know it.” As soon as he hears the melody, it’s on, even before the first line of the song, he’s seat dancin’ and hand clappin’. We’ll kick on Spotify while he’s playing, suddenly, he stops playing with whatever toy he has, and begins busting a move. Some days it’s the Itsy Bitsy Spider and other times it’s the B-I-B-L-E song. But, what I love is that I’m getting to introduce him to some of the old school stuff too. He’s doesn’t realize it, but he does the same boogie with the Happy and you know it song when he hears, I’ll Fly Away, Victory in Jesus, and even one of my favorite seat dancing songs, Shackles on My Feet. How long will it last? I have no idea, but right now life can’t get much better than busting some moves with him. Paul had it right when he told the church in Ephesus, “Encourage each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord.” I only wish he’d went a tad further, dance and seat boogie often.
My early days with music was a transistor radio on warm summer days and a record player at night. A component stereo with a hifi-record player was a sure sign that you had arrived, as long as your vinyl didn’t have a scratch. Add a double cassette recorder to a 125-watt stereo amp and you could rock a room. There’s nothing like Andre Crouch at 100-watts in a 10×10 bedroom. I thought I had arrived when I hopped on my bike, took off with headphones in my ears and a Sony Walkman attached to my hip jamming to Michael W. Smith. You don’t know how much you’ve been cheated in life if you haven’t used a pencil to straighten out a cassette tape or spent a few hours digging tape out of an 8-track player. Thankfully, CD’s brought a new dimension to music, digital. Within a few years, digital went from CD’s to iPods, Spotify and a plethora of ways to get music. Whether it’s been radios, record players, stereos, boom boxes, Walkman’s, 8-track players, CD players, iPods or Spotify; the purpose has always been the same, music. While the methods of delivery have changed, music is an important part of our lives. Why? Music stirs emotions and brings hope to the heart. Music brings a frenzy to a gym, romance to a room and passion to prayer. Paul said, “speak to yourself in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” and David said, ”sing a new song to the Lord.” It doesn’t matter what generation or device; music brings us into God’s presence. Get your favorite device, get your spiritual songs or playlist and get into God’s presence and get encouraged!