I was just working around the house earlier today with one of the cable music channels on, when, suddenly, I heard a song that instantly brought to mind a very vivid memory. I was transported to the mid-90’s when the Girl’s Cross-Country team I was coaching was having a team-building meal at my house the night before an important race. In that memory, they were all singing along with “The Rose” by Bette Midler. And, yes, I was singing right along with them. I don’t know why that song had become our team song (nor did I know why I ever started singing along with them), but it did. And I don’t know why a 1979 song was still popular in the mid-‘90’s, but to the girls it was. Hearing it today brought back that, and many other, happy memories of coaching and running with the girls.
This was not the only time this kind of experience has happened to me. I like listening to “oldies” music—and, for me, that means the ‘50’s to the ‘80’s—not like what kids today consider “oldies “music. But that’s a topic for another day. Anyway, I had an “oldies” station on in my car when “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor came on. Once again, an image instantly came to mind. This time, instead of the sweet sound of Bette Midler’s voice, it was the hard-driving guitar blasts of Survivor that caught my attention. Maybe it was because it was written as the theme song for Rocky III. The song was released the day after the movie opening-1982 and later used for Rocky IV (1986). But for whatever reason, it became the theme song for my Cross-Country teams of the early to mid-‘80’s. The specific memory is of being in the school weight room doing a workout designed by one of the runners. “Paul’s Tour of the Weight Room” became legendary for all the running teams ( male or female) for years after. I can still feel the sweat, the strain, and the pain of that workout. Worse yet, I can hear Paul’s voice in my head “encouraging” me by telling me what a wimp I was if I couldn’t finish.
Music has always been important and has had some amazing results when directed by God. At one point, the Israelites were trying to capture the city of Jericho. God gave them some specific instructions which involved marching around Jericho’s walls while playing trumpets. Sounds like a silly way to conquer a city, doesn’t it? This is what happened: “So, the priests blew the trumpets. As soon as the people heard it, they gave a loud shout, and the walls collapsed. Then all the army went straight up the hill into the city and captured it.” (Joshua 6:20)
Got any walls to bring down? Any battles you need to win? Find the song God wants you to sing, sing it with all your heart and might, and you’ll live to fight another day. And every time you hear or think of that song, you’ll have the memory of what it meant to you. And, if you can’t sing,
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. (Psalm 150:3-6)