Tonight, I was needing a little extra something from God. Somewhere along the way, I’ve gotten out of the habbit of asking Him for that little extra… something, when I need it. Because he often delivers, when I ask. But then again, sometimes, he delivers even when I’m not wise enough to ask.
I struggle with anxiety. I hate saying that, partially because it can sound a bit like saying, I suffer from hang nails. And sometimes, I’m annoyed by garden-variety anxiousness: a little bit of extra energy, a little bit of a wandering mind, a little bit of a need to stand up and walk around and do something physical.
But every now and again, it is this whole other beast. If Garden variety anxiousness is this little biting fly, then anxiety, full grown anxiety, is a hive full of yellow jackets, agitated and coming for me.
I was cleaning up. Because it was either that or risk my brains exploding.
And I wanted to put some music on. Because that’s what I do.
And I found some C.D.’s, blank ones, the kind you burn songs on from a computer. The first one was this performance poet I picked up a few years ago. It’s really great stuff, insightful and funny, but it’s quite high-energy and wasn’t really good accompanient to loading the dishwasher and cleaning the kitchen.
I took it out… the next one was this C.D. I burned a while ago.
I have to say, I was pretty impressed with what was on it. I don’t think I’m bragging, here. I’m going to side step the question of whether I can take credit for it. On one level it was me who put it together… But on some other level? I don’t know.
I made the C.D. a yearish ago. And then I more or less forgot about it. I made it because a lot of my favorite songs about God are kind of all over the place. I tend to burn out pretty quickly on C.D.’s that are nothing but “worship music”. Because somewhere along the way, somebody decided that worship music means songs that are some kind-of spiritual masturbation, about all the thing that god (with a lower case g) does for Me (with a capital M)
On the other hand, songs that are on C.D.’s that aren’t entirely “worship music” they tend to be these… sumnations of everything the singer wants to say to God, or about God. Maybe it’s just a testament to the fact that I can be melancholy. But a lot of these songs, they can be a bit… dark.
At any rate, this C.D., it had some Ben Harper. (“Like a summer Rose/ I’m a victim of the Fall/ Mourning Yearning) And it had that amazing “Held” sung (It’s attrocious/ to think that Providence/ Would take a child/ From her mother/ While she’s praying…) and U2 (Has anybody ever written a better song of praise than Yahwew?) and Switchfoot (I wanna wrestle the angel/ for more than a name…)
And slowly, the more traditional worship songs began to make an appearance. They weren’t even versions by big-named artists. A while ago I sprang ten bucks for one of those anthologies from the machines at Target that has the big square buttons that you push and it plays selections of the songs.
I didn’t last very long listening to that C.D. from Target. It all got cloying.
But on this C.D., it was close to perfect. It was like I kind-of earned the right to rejoice, or the rejoicing meant something, it was defined by the earlier stuff. I don’t know if this is a crazy-wierd analogy, but I got to thinking about TV shows, movies, or novels, where characters die and they don’t come back. Suddenly, everything means more when you’re playing for keeps, when you’re reallhy grappling with the real deal. (I suppose this is why I love the novel, “The Shack” the narrator somehow earns the right to rejoice with God, by not turning away from the tough darkness in life.)
I also got to thinking about parts of the Pslams, Lamentations, and my favorite Old Testament book, Eccliastes. The joy expressed in scripture is somehow defined by the fact that there is no flinching, sugar-coating, or soft-pedaling the fact that life, it can be pretty haRD.
What would be on your perfect mix C.D. built around songs about God?