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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sometimes Your Past Sneaks Back In - And That's Not Necessarily A Bad Thing

Many of you may remember that I was brought up Evangelical Southern Baptist. I was in church 5-6 times a week, and twice on Sundays.

Once I left home to go to college, I moved away from that. It wasn't an instant rending, more like a slow weaning away, and I haven't re-assumed that lifestyle at any point in all the years since. And if I'm being totally honest and truthful...I haven't wanted to or felt like I needed to.

Please know that I'm not disrespecting any of you with a deep and abiding faith in whatever religion fuels your soul. I admire your convictions, I respect your right to worship in whatever way you choose, and I think it's wonderful if that faith leads you to do and be a force for good in this world.

I firmly believe in all of that, and I work toward that myself, just without the "church six times a week" part.

Anyway....I was very active in  my church choir, and a frequent soloist in my church's music program (as well as performing at other christian venues during church camps. etc.) and singing was a big and vital part of my spiritual life for many, many years.

And that, folks, is the only thing I've truly missed from that old life. So many beautiful hymns, so much amazing harmony, voices raised in songs of praise and love and forgiveness. Music is transformative in so many ways.

Which brings me to a few days ago, when I was punching around the radio stations in my car, looking for something that didn't sound like everything else out there right now. I went way beyond my normal spectrum of channels and happened upon a local church broadcast that does a solid hour of hymns in the afternoon.

At first, I switched away. I felt sort of...I don't know...hypocritical singing hymns. After all, I'm not living that life. But then I realized that I sang a ton of religious music in high school choir meant for chorale groups in cathedrals and I wouldn't hesitate to sing those songs now. I've even attended a few "Messiah" sing-alongs during the holiday season over the years and loved every minute of it. Beautiful music is beautiful music, after all.

So I switched back over and I sang. And I sang. And I sang. I slipped easily from melody into harmony, and I knew nearly every word by heart still. For a moment, I was sitting in a pew with my Mom and my friends and it was like putting on a warm coat for a little while - albeit one that doesn't fit so well anymore. I spent the rest of my commute singing as I haven't sung is so many years.

It was good. 

I'm still fine where I am, but now I get to add my voice to theirs once a week, on my commute home, if I'm in the mood. 

Sometimes, it's good to go back to your old life for a little while, even if you don't want to stay for more than an hour.

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