This is a mid-month look at our February fast: going a month with voluntarily listening to music.
To be honest, I kind of threw this fast in because I couldn’t think of anything else creative to do. I thought it would be the EASIEST month of all, and that I would hardly think twice about it.
However, it has proven just the opposite. This month has been much more challenging (and fruitful) for me than the month of January (a fast from spending).
Here’s the thing: I almost always have music playing. Hop in the car: turn on the music (or usually, it’s already on). Start cooking something in the kitchen: turn on the music. Settle down to relax or workout: turn on the music. And I always thought it was JUST in the background. Sure, I’d sing along, but I couldn’t have told you the six songs that played from Pandora last.
Enter this month.
Silence while cooking. Silence while driving. Silence while working out. Silence while relaxing. Silence. So. much. silence.
Music in and of itself is not a bad thing. We could argue (or agree) that different TYPES of music can be detrimental, but music is NOT a bad thing. When I have take it out, it leaves a void. And here I am, with a void to fill.
Enter the whole point of a fast. Fill a void, and in doing so, draw myself closer to God. So what are the three top ways that I fill the silence left by no music?
1. Daydreaming and talking. Let’s be honest, here. I’m not really that spiritual. Since I’ve stopped listening to music this month, I’ve found myself daydreaming a lot more. And talking. And that talking might even involve a little more talking to myself- out loud. Yikes.
2. Prayer. This is what I’m most likely to turn to when I’m in the car, and not talking to myself. When I’m in the car, I can’t exactly DO something else, and my mind tends to wander. I find myself extremely BORED, and the remedy for this was always to play my music, surf the stations until I find a song I actually like. Instead, I can pray. For friends, family, that stupid driver that just cut me off, etc. Going without music has certainly improved my prayer life!
3. Meditation and Scripture memorization. I didn’t plan to actively meditate or memorize scripture this month to replace the music. However, after going through a fast in January that led to almost no spiritual growth, I knew I would need to do something more intentional. So before February began, I made a list of songs that I LOVED, especially Christian ones, and especially hymns.
I decided every morning, I would read through the LYRICS of a song, and write it out in my devotions. I haven’t done this every day, but on the days that I do it, I can really see a difference.
And that’s when I realized that I am terrified of meditating. Why?
1. It’s so foreign. It’s foreign to me. But not only that, but it’s foreign to all those around me. So much so, that when someone says ‘meditate’, I do not think of the spiritual leaders and members of my church body (both locally and world-wide) focusing on the words of God, instead of think of this:
AmIright? Isn’t that what you think of?
It shouldn’t be. I’m learning that meditation needs to be more of a daily habit, and an accepted practice amongst believers.
2. It is POWERFUL. That’s pretty self-explanatory. But it’s CRAZY that I can sit down in total silence for ten minutes, and write out the words of a song, and feel so peaceful/convicted/challenged/embraced/loved.
I challenge you to do it. Find a verse. Spend day one memorizing it. Spend day two looking up parallel passages. Spend day three praying it over yourself or a friend. Spend day four finding any songs that go along with it. Spend day five just reading it and writing it and thinking about it. Tell me you won’t be changed.
And remember, use silence. Remind me to do that too, the next time that you see me talking to myself this month- hahaha!