Boredom is death.
You may think that this statement is an exaggeration but think about it, what’s the point of living if all that we can possibly hope to experience is both dull and monotonous?
The best moments of our lives come from our encounters with the simple yet pleasant surprises that are often found in the moments where we least expect them.
Perhaps that could be waking up to the smell of bacon and pancakes in the morning.
Perhaps that could be doing surprisingly well on an exam you felt you had a hard time with.
Perhaps that could be the warm smile of your significant other that almost seems to say “I love you more than I did yesterday”.
Whatever the case may be for you, we can all agree on one thing, life is so much better with good surprises.
And what better surprise is there than the sound of music?
Music is one instantaneous surprise after another that in its totality serves not only to give us the enticement of a sweet surprise but also serves to give us an escape of the ever present lifelessness of boredom.
Music is a good thing, but only if it is enjoyed the right way.
Here’s the deal, the things that we rely on to escape our boredom have power over us.
Allow me to clarify this point.
Picture in your mind the one thing you love to do the most when you’re a bored.
(for me that’s going on the internet).
Now imagine never being able to do that again.
Pretty uncomfortable thought right?
The simple fact is that we form attachments to the things that help us escape our boredom and these attachments are far more powerful than we may care to believe.
We can’t just walk away from them whenever we please.
We are compelled to feel as though we couldn’t be happy again if these things were somehow taken out of our lives.
It’s difficult to imagine the hobbies and interests we tend to enjoy in our times of boredom somehow being dangerous to us yet if we do not properly recognize the impact they have on our lives, their potential threat is all the more serious.
And of all the interests we delight in to soothe our boredom, none are more impactful than music.
Behind every song is a message.
Behind every message is a thought.
And behind every thought is a desire.
When we consistently fill our ears with messages that aren’t becoming of the will of God (or becoming of ourselves for that matter), we fill our minds with thoughts that can only distract us from the will of God, and we fill our hearts with the desire for that which is not of him.
“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.
Listening to the wrong music makes us think the wrong things, and thinking the wrong things makes us want the wrong things, and wanting the wrong things leads us only to destruction.
Music is a really good thing, yet it only when it is enjoyed properly.
What all this isn’t saying is to completely cut out all music that isn’t expressively Christian or gospel related.
(Trying to do that wouldn’t last very long plus, I’m more a jazz man myself).
Instead what I mean to say is to do something very simple and practical the next time you listen to music to ensure that it can only entertain you as it is intended to and not silently change who you are as an after-effect.
Pay attention to the state of mind of mind you encounter whenever you listen to a new song for the first time.
Imagine that the song is taking you on a journey to a place you’ve never been before and take notice of where this journey is leading you.
Finally, ask yourself this one simple question, “Would God be glad to see the place that this song has lead me too?”.
If the answer is yes, then be at ease and enjoy.
Yet if the answer is no, you may still listen, but do not listen with ease, be mindful of guarding your thoughts until the song is finished.
The best way to keep an intruder out of your house is by locking the front door, you can still see him, but he can’t come in.
In those moments, let that be philosophy and act with a tranquil mind and sound judgment.
There are so many amazing things to experience in life and I’m glad to say that music is one of them.
Yet music is not like people because not all songs are created equally.
So the next time you listen to something, think about how it may affect you in the future so that you can both have good music and listen to it too.
Live your life with mindfulness because mindfulness not only protects you from things that are wrong, it helps you enjoy the things that are right