Saturday, January 16, 2016

Keeping Step with the Spirit

Year 4-Day 16: Today, I am grateful for the things that help me "keep step with the Spirit". 

I think in music and lyrics ( and my earworm sings them). They pop into my head unannounced and unexpected at times. They can make me smile, remember, laugh, dance and cry. They inspire, magnify my praise and evoke contemplation. They can convict and raise courage levels.

Songs...from commercial jingles to hymns...occupy an uncalculated portion of my memory...and perhaps, that is why I can't remember where my car is parked at Wal-Mart. If I had to choose...I'd choose the tunes. 

Music touches our souls...our emotions... and our brain hold on to what it captures there. Need to memorize something...put it to song. How many of us can still recite "The Preamble" because of Schoolhouse Rock...and we learned it in the 1970's!  But, can you tell me exactly where you put your purse or car keys when you walked in the door? 

One of the things I have discovered in my daily walk is that the music I listen to matters. I love all kinds of music from every era.  Not all the music on my playlist has spiritual significance, but any of them can impact my spirit and my mood. So...I try to choose wisely. I want to "keep step with the Spirit."  Paul instructed the Galatians:

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." -Galatians 5:16

Am I singing songs about revenge? I  do have "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood on my playlist... but I, also, have "Forgiveness" and "Do Something" by Matthew West. Do they balance each other out? If I keep a 2:1 ratio...will the positive messages guide my thoughts, choices and behaviors? Something to think about. 

How we live is often reflected by the messages in the music we choose.  I have never bought into ideology that negative lyrics don't matter. "It's just a song", some say. 
Yet, Queens "We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions is a great example of empowerment through secular music. What about Elsa's "Let It Go" to teach us surrender and acceptance? Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" has such a consoling feel. Chris Tomlin's "My Chains Are Gone" is the song of a soul set free. 10,000 Reason (Bless the Lord Oh My Soul) is my own personal anthem..but I am not alone in claiming it as such. It is a hymn of love, life, death, hope and gratitude.

Music has power. It has a force.  To quote an elder (even if he is mythical and alien):

"Choose wisely you must, young padawan." - Yoda

Paul is another elder... ancient but not mythical... and full of wise instruction.  

 "If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another."-Galatians 5:25-26

We must choose wisely.

Do my earworm and the Holy Spirit sing in harmony or they compete for my attention. Yes, today, I am full of things to ponder, but it is a good day for some thinking. The goal is to live by the Spirit...and to keep in step with His leading...for there is joy in the journey.    

Today, I am grateful for the things that help me "keep step with the Spirit". 

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