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Don't lose the music - A letter to my kids

“Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.”

Psalm 33:1-3

Dear Kids,

Your life has a rhythm to it, and your heart keeps the beat. Some days the rhythm is playful. Some days it is sad. Some days the rhythm of your life feels like a rock and roll power ballad. Some days it has a blue grass twang. The beauty of youth is that you are tuned in enough to actually hear the music of your heart. It is the sound of your soul and adds fuel to your living. So let me encourage you — please don’t lose the music.

There is something true about your heart…something so deep down that you don’t know how to put words to it. You don’t think about it because it is just a part of who you are. You (talking to the boys) probably also don’t think about it, because to put words to it would feel less cool or less masculine. Deep down in your heart is a poet. Deep down is a need to feel. Deep down is a need to express feeling. I am telling you this is true, and I mean just that, it is something that is true about you. When I say true, I don’t just mean honest. When I say true, I mean that this inner poet is one of the ways that you truly reflect the image of God. Please don’t lose the poet.

You don’t even think about the presence of music right now. You are too busy listening to, making, or even writing music. But one day, there will be pressure to think and to reason. There will be a need to plan and prepare. Those are good things. I’m actually trying to raise you to do those things well. What I want you to see though, is that you can think and reason and plan, without losing the ability to feel deeply. Somewhere along the way, I started to push down the poet. I pushed down passion, and emotion, and I looked at the world as if it were black and white. I’m trying to gain the music back, but sometimes it takes a while to find the rhythm. So, think, and reason, and be responsible, but please don’t lose the ability to feel.

What does all of this have to do with music? Well, music is very rational. It is almost mathematic. But it speaks to the heart. I don’t know which comes first. I don’t know if a move to talk radio instead of listening to music begins to deaden our hearts, or if we move to talk radio because our hearts have become deadened. I’m not trying to say that you should never listen to talk radio. But I am trying to encourage you to keep listening to music. I love to sing along with you. I love to watch you sing. I love to listen to the songs that stir your hearts (at least most of them). Don’t lose that joy.

There is at least one more reason not to lose the music. Music was created by God. In some mysterious way, music is a reflection of the heart of God. There is a reason that so much of the Bible is written as poetry…because it is not just the Words of Scripture that tell us about the person of God, it is also the form of Scripture. And God is communicating something deep about himself when he speaks to us in poetry. I believe that he is telling us he feels. I believe he is telling us that the full range of emotions are appropriate in this life, because he created them. And I believe that he is telling us we cannot live lives of worship…lives that glorify and enjoy him…without music. So please don’t lose worship.

Kids, you have an energy and vibrancy to your lives that brings me great delight. I delight in watching you. I delight in listening to you. I delight in being with you. And if there is one thing I have learned from God’s Word, it is this…if I, being sinful, know how to love you and delight in you…how much greater does the heavenly Father delight in His children! If for no other reason, sing because it brings the Father delight as he delights in you. Above all else, know that you are beloved children of the King. So please…please don’t lose the music.



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