Whenever I’ve got my headphones on and the music is pouring through my mind, I envision myself in some other life, some other moment. The world around me becomes the set to a movie where I suffer, then triumph, as the heroine. A sad song comes to the climax and I feel my heart filling my chest, an invisible tear sliding down my face, and a new resolution to beat the darkness. Then something soft, an acoustic number where the love of my life hides within the notes, surrounded by golden fields, beaches and sunsets. It’s something we are all guilty of, taking a few minutes to pretend that just maybe our lives are at the centre, that we’re the most important character, even if it’s for just one song. So what happens when we change our epic ballads to worship music instead? I decided to take up a Rhythms Action and find out.
As I began my walk into town I realised that the music I listened to had become more of a background noise than anything else, but this time I really wanted to be aware of what was being played. I wanted to spend quality time with God and not just my headphones. As each song came on, I focused on the words sung, it didn’t matter whose voice was behind the lyrics, Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon, Martin Smith, they were just instruments playing God’s work.
As I made the conscious decision to focus on one sense, each of the others became amplified; I became more perceptive of everything around me, of the people I passed, the wildlife, the weather, the noise. In worshipping God through music I was able to appreciate his wonder in so many other aspects. I took the time to admire the beauty in every detail and movement, the way the clouds blended into one another, the subtle colours of lilac and blue that hid behind the grey, and the sun lining each one with a caramel glow. I could still feel my heart swell, but this time the emotion was based on reality rather than fantasy. It was not a time where I really spoke to God, but just allowed myself to be in his presence, to open up my heart and mind for his viewing.
A part of me still felt like I was a character in a film, but as I reflected on this I became aware that this isn’t completely false. God has a script for my life, he has my story planned, there will be moments of tragedy, and peaks of happiness, I won’t know which way my tale will go but the happy ending, in God, is an assured thing. And though sometimes it will feel like it is all about me, I am wrong; I am not the centre, he is.