Be Careful Little Ears What You Hear

"Just a small town girl..."

There are few statements as powerful as these five simple words.

Go ahead. Sing the rest of the line. Maybe even go find the song to listen to. I'll still be here.

Musical Memory

If you left, thank you for valuing my writing enough to come back. If you didn't stray in order to listen to "Don't Stop Believin'", thanks for being here in the first place.

This is my third and final blog in a (don't-call-it-a-series) series of posts that have been about thinking more carefully about what we allow to entertain us.

Amongst the most powerful forms of entertainment is music. Among all of its capabilities, I wish to highlight only one: its stickiness.

If I were a betting man, I would bet that you sang those words at the top. Maybe not the first time you read them, but upon realizing that they were THOSE words, you sang them to yourself. Maybe it was a quiet song in your head, but you sang them. Another wager, if I were a betting man, is that the last time you heard "Don't Stop Believin'" was at a wedding. Yet, you could probably still sing along with it now, having not heard or rehearsed it for quite some time.

This is the stickiness of music. Good music, music that stirs something inside of us and creates emotion within us, sticks. We can't shake it. Songs are often labeled as "infectious"; the tune, the melody, the words, the feelings, root themselves deep within us without any effort. I can still rap along with Eminem's "Till I Collapse" from my days of high school sports. This song and countless others can be recalled in my brain if something triggers it (like writing about it, for example). The music sticks.

What Have You Hidden in Your Heart?

How much then could you benefit from the stickiness of Christian music? If the words of an aggressive rap song by Eminem can be recalled, how much greater would it be to recall the words of great Christian music.

When sin is crouching at your door, your soul would do well to recall the great prayer of "Be Thou My Vision." When trouble comes your way, it would do you well to sing with Christians through the ages that "It Is Well."

We are often encouraged to "hide God's word in our hearts." In committing Scripture to memory, in making it stick, we allow our hearts and minds to recall the truth of God in whatever situation we may find ourselves in. However, we have neglected the usefulness of music in the task. Sing the truth of scripture and be entertained by it that in the day of trouble you may find it hidden in your heart.

We do not need to stop listening to "secular" music altogether, but we do need to be careful what we hear.