Missing a Good Sing Song

I never thought I’d say it; but I caught myself singing along enthusiastically to the worships songs a few weeks ago. Up until then I had always sung the songs half-heartedly, being very conscious of what they say and that I simply don’t subscribe to those beliefs anymore.

It happened because I relaxed. The congregation were singing along, as per normal, and I was half mouthing, half singing, as quietly as I could get away with. Then suddenly along came a song I knew well and off I went. I don’t recall how far I got before realising what I was doing, but when I did I found myself mentally chastising myself for being weak. I was almost embarrassed.

What surprised me most was how I reacted to this little slip. It was almost as though I had done something wrong. Oh what a reversal of attitude!

Regarding Worship

As a Christian, worship was always important and, despite my less than perfect singing voice, I did enjoy singing songs and entering into a spirit of worship while doing so. In my mind, the act of singing in Church and the experience of worship are entwined. One shall not and cannot separate them.

So with this mind-set, it is hardly surprising that I don’t want to blindly worship and entity I don’t believe in. That would be silly.

Thinking about it afterwards though, it also seems silly getting worked up over what is really just a joyful sing song. Should I care what the songs are about? How is it different to appreciating music on the radio, which will on occasion contain lyrics that I disapprove of as well? It can only be because of the association I have with singing in Church and worship.

That was four weeks ago and I’ve not been back since. The not being back is unrelated to the event in question; it has just happened that way, a combination of it being convenient for me to stay at home because of stuff to do, mainly because I have to work.

We’ll see how I progress on this one, I have more or less told myself that its okay to join in the singing even if I struggle with the lyrics. I fully expect the mental link there to struggle. However, I’m really not going to give myself a heart attack by joining in, so why get so bothered by it?

Surprised by My Reaction to Worship Songs

I managed to surprise, even scare, myself this week when my wife played some worship songs at home.

Before I get onto that, first some background and context.

Its been about 5 months since I last went to Church, some of it is because of legitimate reasons like being away, but also, some of it is simply because I don’t want to. There have been times when I have been prepared to go, as in not actively revolting against going, but its not happened. The result of this is that I have not heard a worship song for that entire time. The last time I went to church I was quite happy benignly singing the songs, just not engaging with the content.

Last week my wife quite her job, this was planned as in a couple of months we relocate to a town 100 miles away so keeping her job would have been impossible. This is all part of the bigger picture of the limey family changing its lifestyle and removing the necessity of my wife having to work is part of that.

This past week, I was working at home for a few days and my wife was at home doing some of the chasing that is required to keep our move on track. We’ve not had the two of us at home alone during the working day for a very long time. It was a bit of a novelty to be honest.

About mid-morning I came downstairs to make a coffee to take back to my office, the wife was in the conservatory and as I approached I could hear a well known worship song playing from the iPod dock in the kitchen.

My instant reaction was to think, “urg, turn that awful stuff off”. It come so naturally and so quickly that the only conclusion is that I really don’t like this kind of music anymore. If I’m honest, my reaction was almost anger at having to hear it.

A second later, as I realised my response, I was shocked by what had happened. I am still processing my thoughts and I am still a little unsettled by the event. Though I can’t explain why.

Historically I have always been the kind of person who cares about the lyrics of the songs he buys. I have spent a lot of time in record shops reading the lyrics of songs before making the choice of whether or not to buy a particular album. Just liking the music was not enough, I had to like the lyrics too, or at least not object to them. Part of me is wondering if this is the reason for my response.

Worship songs represent a belief system I no longer accept and so I can’t engage with the intent and therefore its hardly a surprise that no longer wish to hear them. But why so vehemently? Or am I just overreacting to what was really a mild reaction and its only my being taken by surprise that has made to seem such a big deal? Either way, this is a very new feeling for me, its surprising and unsettling, but work through it I must.

Thoughts, opinions, suggestions and insights most gratefully received.