April 02


Music for the Soul

For a long time, I wasn’t a fan of religious music. I grew up in churches with pipe organs and hymns that contained far too many “thee”s and “thou”s and “thy”s for my taste. By the time we reached the fifth (or sixth or seventh, ugh) verse, I was over it.

And as for non-church religious music, I always thought it was too preachy. Too corny. Too nothing I wanted to listen to.

But then I started listening to artists like Switchfoot and Ben Rector. Their music isn’t in-your-face religious, but when you really listen to the lyrics, it’s clear that there’s a deeper message.

I also started attending a non-denominational church with not a pipe organ or thee or thou in sight. Seriously, our pastor has tattoos and wears jeans and flip flops to preach. The music is just as non-traditional, complete with guitars, drums, and concert-like lights. A couple of weeks ago, I sat behind an older gentleman who was probably expecting “traditional church music.” When the guitars and drums started up, he tore his hearing aids out of his ears faster than I thought someone his age could move. But the music isn’t just loud. It’s beautiful. Passionate. Heartfelt.

As my thoughts about religious music have changed, I’ve started listening to it more. Do I still think it’s preachy? Occasionally. But let’s be honest, sometimes I really need to be preached to. Is it still corny? At times. That’s what the “next” button is for.

But the preaching and the corniness are far outweighed by the connections I feel and the impact the songs have on my life. The other night, I was driving to a friend’s house when Sanctus Real’s “On Fire” came on the radio. I hadn’t heard it before, and started bawling my eyes out because it was exactly what I needed to hear for so many different reasons.

It doesn’t matter what religion you are. Even if you aren’t religious at all, there’s music that connects you to what matters to you.

Find music for your soul, turn it up loud, and hit repeat.

signature - erin