So I was flipping through the channels last night. Sunday evenings are prime "TV-Time" for me - dunno why. My weekends are usually a mixture of "rest & relax", trying to keep dishes & clothes washed, and keeping the house from becoming a health hazard. My routine for a long time now has been that I attend Sunday evening mass at the Cathedral. So, I suppose after I've returned home from mass, I enter a "wind-down" kind of mode to end the weekend, and get jazzed for a new week. (OK - you can't hear the sarcasm in "jazzed for a new week" - but its there, oh boy is it there...)
Anyway, last night as I was winding down, I was flipping through the channels - looking for something not quite mind-damaging to entertain myself. And up came the Grammy awards. Now, if you know me, you know I LOVE music. I love listening to music. I love to sing along with the radio. (One of my biggest challenges with my iPod is, if I'm not paying attention, I'll find myself singing out loud with my earphones in - forgetting that no one else can hear the song.)
I happened to turn to the show right when they were about to do "Record of the Year". I was excited. To see who was nominated. To see who would win. I'm a music buff after all, you know? So they read the nominees, and play those little clips. Now, the last time I watched the Grammies - I was singing along with all those little clips for record of the year; and I can remember being torn - really invested in who would win - because I really, really liked several of the songs.
This year - I found myself hitting the rewind on the DVR. I MUST have been confused about the category they were working with. This couldn't be "Record of the Year" - I didn't recognize a single song. Not one. So, I re-wound... yup, sure enough, record of the year. Hrm... how could I not know a single one of those songs? Surely, I'd know the artists, right? Hit re-wind again. (I love DVR - just love it.) Mary J. Blige - check. I know her. Loved her first big single, what... five years ago or more? Good. I know one. Dixie Chicks - check. OK - I know who they are, but can't say I know any of their songs. And - um.... isn't this the Grammy Awards? I thought the Dixie Chicks would be limited to the Country Music Awards - or at least the country music categories. They really have a song nominate for record of the year? James Blunt - who? Gnarls Barkley - when did he give up the round ball for a music career - and have we ever had a former NBA player make it to Record of the Year? Oh, GNARLS Barkley. Who the heck is that? Corinne Bailey Rae - OK - I've got to admit - I hit the DVR rewind one more time. This is surreal - is this REALLY the Grammy Awards... for Record of the Year? Who ARE these people?
What was worse than not knowing all the artisits, was that I didn't know ANY of the songs. Not a one. They didn't even remotely sound familiar. Now, for the average person, this might not be a big deal. And its not like my life ever revolved around the Grammy awards. When it comes to music, I like what I like - the awards shows (or anything else, really) have never dictated my taste. But, being a guy who needs radio in his car to work more than he needs A/C, how could it be that I don't have any CLUE about the nominations for Record of the Year?
It puzzled me. It concerned me. Where have I been this past year? What have I been doing? How could I be so out of touch? This is BIG. I've got to figure out what happened. (Have you noticed yet from reading other blog entries that I sometimes over-analyze things?)
So I started thinking. Yup - every time I get in the car, I'm listening to the radio. Every time. I thought more. I'm singing all the time, too. Deep in thought sometimes. Really listening to the music other times. I thought some more. My routine: Get in the car, turn it on, turn up the volume on the radio, and then put on my seat belt. Yep - my priorities are still OK. How could I miss what's happening in the music world?
Then it hit me. I listen to K-LOVE and AIR-1. (Contemporary Christian music stations in my town.) I flip back and forth between them. I sing the songs they play. They are the songs I pray the mass with. They are the songs that I pray with when I'm worried, searching, tired, scared. They are the songs I praise with. My car time has become prayer time. Music is still very important to me - its just that my selection of music has changed. I'm guessing as my own internal focus changed, my music selection followed.
Now - before you jump to any conclusions - I want to be clear. I am not condemning any music. I don't like the stuff that talks only about sex or drugs or killing someone else. But that's because of the topic, not the music. I still like "popular music" - most of the song snipets I heard last night on the awards show sounded OK to me. And, if there's 80's music on the radio, look out. I'm there quick. And my taste in music runs a very wide spectrum. Right now in my CD players at home, one has Steevie Wonder's greatest hits in it (a Christmas present from my mom). The other has Earth, Wind and Fire's Greatest Hits Vol. II. Beside that CD player is my old Nirvannah CD, Elton John's Greatest Hits, and the original cast recording of Phantom of the Opera. I love my music - I haven't abandoned it.
But I realized last night...as I began to turn toward the path of discernment, seeking God more purposefully, and trying to learn how to have the guts to give it all to Him...something happened to my car radio. Over and over in my mind as I thought about this last night, I heard the words of the Gospel: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Don't get me wrong. I'm far - very, very far - from being the kind of man God wants me to be. My imperfections and shortcomings outweigh me by a ton. It's only a matter of God's infinite love and grace that allows me to approach Him and try to serve Him. But, I think I've got to notice, part of what that grace has given me over the last year or so is a changing of where my tresure is; where my heart is.
I can't ignore God's working in my life. I would not, and could not have, made even so slight a change myself. It's God working in me. Wow. Scary. And humbling.
And - as I reflect this morning - I'm even more grateful that this change hasn't come as a replacement of my love for music, even my love for popular music. Where's my Eagle's Greatest Hits CD? I want to listen to that at lunch.
And, for a special person, who gave me my love of music:
You are the apple of my eye, Forever you'll stay in my heart.