II Chronicles 5:13-14 (NKJV) “Indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever,” that the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God.”
My brother tells the story of the first time he watched “The Sound of Music”. Even though he hadn’t seen it before, he was able to sing along to almost all the songs. The Sound of Music was my mom’s favorite musical and at home she would belt out tunes from the classic as she went about her daily chores. We had no choice but to pick up on her love and taste for music. I remember, when the power would go out at night, as it often did, we would gather in the living room and sing together until it came back on. Sometimes we would keep singing even after it came back. This is one of my fondest memories of my childhood.
A few years back, I was juggling school, work, and serving in two ministries at church. I found that I was spread too thin and wasn’t able to be excellent in all my responsibilities. I had to give at least one thing up. I wasn’t going to leave school or work, and the youth ministry was not too demanding, so the worship team seemed to be the only thing I could comfortably let go of.
I had also started to notice a few drawbacks of being on the worship team. I was developing a dangerous level of pride. I loved the “limelight” and the praise that I got from people. I loved it when people would come up to me every Sunday telling me how beautifully I’d sang. I also realized that my relationship with God was suffering. I was at church every Friday, Saturday and Sunday serving in the worship team and the youth ministry. I was spending plenty of time in ministry as a duty. Somehow, I managed to convince myself that this was enough. I rarely paid attention to the sermon on Sundays and I only really touched my Bible on Friday’s if I was leading Bible Study.
After I left the worship team, our church had just added an early morning service. Since this was fairly new, there usually weren’t enough ushers and so I started helping out when needed. After a while it became kind of a full-time gig for me. I continued even after we changed back to just one morning service. This role was just what I needed to rebuild my humility. It calls directly to being an actual servant rather than a “leader”. I got to shake hands with almost each person every Sunday and actually learned people’s names. I knew I had made the right decision leaving the worship team and did not miss or regret it at all.
There was one repercussion however, that I had not anticipated. I didn’t even notice it until recently. I was sitting on the bus on my way home, with my headphones in to drown out any weird conversations I might encounter from my fellow travelers. I had once overheard a pretty disturbing conversation that I’ve been working really hard to erase from my memory. It made a point to never leave my headphones at home as long I was planning on taking the bus that day. Anyway, so there I was, zoned out listening to my music.
I had just recently downloaded Noel Nderitu’s new album, “The Bridge”. I had listened to all the songs a couple of times and “No Running” was my favorite track at the time, but that was about to change. We were just passing the Galleria in Dallas on the Toll Way heading downtown. Right before we hit the bridge at the intersection of the Dallas North Toll Way and I-635, it started. It starts off nice and mellow; you think it’s going to be one of those R&B-like songs. But then the beat kicks in and it’s this really cool and calming seben beat. Then it goes into this really catchy intro that immediately lifts your spirit and gets you moving. I could try to describe it further and in more detail but I don’t really know enough musical terms and no words would really do it justice. I highly recommend grabbing the album so you can experience it for yourself. You can find it here. This particular song is called “Wewe”.
That evening I listened to “Wewe” on repeat all the way home, right up until I went to bed that night. The next morning when I got on the bus and started listening to my music again, it all felt new to me. I started noticing all the different parts that made up each song; the voices, the strings, the keys, the drums. I felt like August Rush; Hearing, feeling and participating in the music all around me. I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the way, I had lost my relationship with music. I guess because, I wasn’t singing as regularly as I used to and I rarely ever just listened to music. I’m glad that my love for music has been rekindled. It truly is one of the most beautiful things in the world.