• Tara Banks

Shhh... This is My Favorite Song...


((Just for fun - photo circa 2014 while sitting in the office listening to a new Seacoast release - with a broken arm and all.))


Sometimes people will ask, "Hey T, what's your favorite song?" or "What are you listening to these days?". Of course, as a Worship Pastor, this is a natural question for the line of work I love. So I usually rattle off the name of the most recent song that has wrecked my heart or a lyric the Lord uses to undo me in my personal times of worship.


Music and lyrics are powerful. They can immediately transport you to another time and have you wrapped up in all the feelings of a moment. Music is useful. Throughout the Bible, it is used for worship, to cause the singer and listener to recall God's faithfulness, to express lament and grief, celebration and joy. It was created to give God back the breath he put in our lungs and is meant for the largest of triumphs and the smallest of ordinary moments. It applies just as much in large gatherings as in private whispers, transcending age, race, culture, and time.


Music happens when our souls' sentiment is set to a soundtrack.


As we go through our lives, we will undoubtedly have favorite songs. Maybe they are tied to an epic moment or perhaps even a reminder of God's breakthrough in a particular season. However, as I've heard all different types of music in my own house over the years, I've decided I really do have a favorite set of songs. These are not love songs that take me back to the 90s or Christmas carols that remind me of memories we've made. These songs aren't even ones on the top 40 list or latest worship release or ones I'd sing at the top of my lungs in the car. These are entirely different kinds of God-created sounds. They make me pause every day and, I believe, are the types of theme music for my life that are filled with his presence if I take time to listen.


My favorite songs are the sounds of my boys playing soccer in the kitchen, complete with commentary and crowd noise. My youngest's hysterical laughter - the one he does when he's watching his friend's latest gaming hilarity and laughs so hard he can hardly breathe. My Sons of Thunder wrestling upstairs so loudly that I begin to pray for the integrity of the ceiling. The sound of my husband's truck in the driveway and the garage door opening around dinner time, knowing my hardest goodbye of the day is getting ready to be my favorite hello. The constant hum of the dishwasher and the inevitable sound of two coins in the dryer. The sound of the refrigerator door opening and all my food being eaten by a gang of hungry boys. It's prayers being quietly prayed over those same boys at night before bed and stories being told at dinner of how the day went.


I hear lyrics in these songs like: "Get your shoes on," "Can I please have more," "Are you sure you brushed your teeth," and "Don't touch your brother." These melodies are precious pauses that are etched in my soul like that song that gets stuck in your head - but these are songs I don't want to forget. Songs I want to be able to sing back, every line and lyric, when I'm 80. Songs I'm so glad I get to sing along to right now. Songs that sound like the sweet presence of Jesus, singing right back to me. They don't rhyme, are not necessarily catchy, and break all the rules I've learned about proper songwriting. Still, they are so good that I'm learning to quiet the rest of my life so I can tune in when they start. It's the kind of stuff that Spotify wouldn't stream, and Apple Music wouldn't promote, and even if they did, I'm not sure it's anything anyone would intentionally search for or presave. But, these melodies are the kind of thing I would be willing to pay a million dollars for every day for the rest of my life just to have it on repeat.


The music of the mundane is a melody worth memorizing.


As I pause to hear him in these unconventional songs, he's helping me hear his voice in them and is giving me a fresh perspective on what happens when I stop to listen. Since I know that our job as followers of Jesus is to give our everyday moments back to him as an act of worship, I realize these everyday songs in themselves are a sort of everyday worship and are teaching me about the heart of our loving Father. He wants me to find him in them. It's the soundtrack of my life, and I love learning all the lines and lyrics. As the playlist builds, I'm attaching memories to each and learning to tune in and memorize every word.


Sometimes, the very best songs aren't found on a playlist; they are heard in the heart.


-TB


"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him." (Romans 12:1 The Message)

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