Play It Again, Tom
My son is all about the CD player/alarm clock on my nightstand right now. A couple weeks ago, he noticed that if he pushed buttons, indicator lights lit up. He also learned that if he pulled open the lid, a secret compartment was inside. After days of him sticking credit cards and other trinkets in the CD player, I decided to show him what it really did. I opened up the disorganized box of CDs stuffed under my bed, grabbed a random, forgotten CD, put it in, and pressed play. The opening riff of “This Charming Man” by The Smiths began playing. Thomas lit up, radiating pure joy as he stared at the CD player. He immediately began to push the buttons again, learning that they skipped songs, stopped play, and resumed the song. He’d flip to random songs at first, but he always came back to the opening song. If that song ended, he’d put it back on again.
After a few days of hearing the same song, I grabbed another random, forgotten CD and put it in the player. This time it was SheDaisy, “Little Goodbyes” that played. Again, Thomas lit up and began pushing buttons, but he always came back to “Little Goodbyes.” Currently, Thomas is listening to “Long Time Gone” by the Dixie Chicks. I’m thankful that before I get teary-eyed about my ever-growing little boy listening to track #2 (“Landslide”), he scrolls through the songs to play “Long Time Gone” again. Whatever CD it is, he always listens to the first song.
After days of hearing the same songs over and over, I find myself humming them when Thomas isn’t listening to them. I just can’t seem to get away from them! I’ve learned 2 things from this experience.
1) I need to choose wisely which CD I put in the CD player because I will hear track #1 all. day. long.
2) What I hear most will sink deeply into me. I like all the music Thomas has been listening to, but I find myself suddenly singing along with words I didn’t know I knew. I’ve begun thinking about what the songs mean and sometimes surprised to discover nuances I hadn’t noticed before. Over time, the songs became reflexive, pouring out of me.
This second realization makes me think about other areas of my life. What am I hearing/seeing/focusing on most? Whatever it is, it’s going to become a part of me. I will be changed by what I’m exposed to for better or worse.
Lately, I find myself confused and stressed. Not surprisingly, I’ve been focused on that which is confusing and stressful. I told Matt I was going to stop complaining about a certain situation and he looked at me and earnestly asked, “After a certain hour of the day? Or do you mean limiting it to a certain number of words per day?” Ouch. Apparently, I’ve been complaining non-stop.
I’m choosing instead to focus on that which gives me life and hope, because I want to be someone like Jeremiah describes in the Bible:
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.
Lord, give me eyes to see you and ears to hear your voice, so that I might be someone that is reflexively loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. Amen.