Today, I got a CD in the mail. Not a big deal. I’ve gotten a few of those over the years (understatement of the century to say the least).
This one was a bit different. This was an album by a band called Johnny Clegg & Savuka that my uncle introduced me to almost 20 years ago. I wish I could thank him again, but he’s no longer living. All I have left are the music and the memories. I can see his face every time I listen to a Grateful Dead song.
In fact, both my uncles on my dad’s side helped to instill in me a great love for music as well as inspiring me to broaden my musical horizons, a move that I have never once regretted.
For me, music is better than just about anything else at conjuring up old memories.
Whenever I hear a Julie Miller song, I’m immediately transported back to Union University circa 1993 and some great friends who really modeled what real Christian faith lived out could be. Not stuffy, pew-sitting faith, but vibrant every-day kind of faith that was honest and transparent.
I can hear any Phil Collins song and immediately feel the same way that I did as an 8th grader way back in 1986. Heck, just about any 80’s song will transport me back to junior high/high school.
That’s what makes the musical aspect of worship so great. Music is the best way to trigger memories of God’s faithfulness in the past to remind you that He’s still faithful now.
I can still remember how my grandmother, long after she’d forgotten her address and the names of most of the people she loved, still able to sing the old hymns that were embedded deep in a part of her brain that Alzheimer’s couldn’t touch.
After all, music is the only expression that activates and utilizes every part of the brain. But that’s another topic for another day.