In the medical profession there are Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat specialists. This affiliation with all four facial features may at first seem unusual, but these body parts are actually linked. Previously we discussed the
important role our eyes — the windows to the soul — play in staying encouraged. We warned our fellow creators and dreamers to avoid “eye pollution,” which can affect our thoughts and attitudes, and if unchecked, can kill our creativity and derail our dreams.
The ears also play a vital role in our ability to stay encouraged. Through them we hear sounds, music, and receive information that allows us to verbally communicate and fully enjoy the world around us. Question is, what are we listening to? What are we “tuning” our ears to?
What type of music is pouring into our brains? Is it positive, wholesome, and uplifting? Again, would it pass the “Philippians 4:18 Test”? Relax, we’re not suggesting that people should only listen to “spiritual” music. (Christian, gospel, praise & worship, etc.) We do, however, recommend that it comprise a large portion of the music you routinely listen to — for some very good reasons we’ll discuss in our next session.
Just as with mainstream movies, our Lord can and does use all types of music to minister to people. In fact, if we’re in tune with God and His purposes, we can see His hand and “hear” His voice in just about everything, from the rustle of leaves in an autumn breeze, to the a baby’s cries when it’s feeding time. Jesus says, “My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life.” (John 10:27 MSG)
Like movies, music is a powerful medium. It’s the universal language, transcending all cultures, religions, ethnicity, and geographic and political boundaries. Music is also the language of the soul. It can energize and motivate us; inspire us and even move us to tears — because music impacts us on an emotional level.
When music fills the air, it creates an aural atmosphere that can either lift us up or drag us down, put us in a peaceful and mellow mood — or a sour state of anger and agitation. Ultimately, what we’re listening to has the power to encourage us or drag us down to despair and depression. Music is therefore NOT neutral; nor has it ever been so. To the contrary, music of all types, is either beneficial or detrimental, spiritual or profane.
Years ago we heard of a carefully controlled experiment in which plants were exposed to various forms of music. The plants grew and thrived in an atmosphere of Classical music, but when subjected to Acid Rock, they eventually withered and died. Conclusive? People and plants respond to light in similar ways, so why not sound also?
As it happens, people respond positively to rousing anthems and moving film scores. Indeed, movie scores help audiences connect to the characters on a deeper emotional level. An inspired score can make an otherwise mediocre movie shine, just as a poor musical score can drag down an otherwise excellent movie. Face it, in addition to great acting and dazzling special effects, to truly succeed at the box office, a movie absolutely must have a worthy and excellent score.
If you’re a movie buff you can probably rattle off a few of your favorites. Ponder for a moment: how many of them have beautiful and hauntingly memorable music? One of our all-time favorites is Rocky, with Sylvester Stallone. But for us, what truly makes the movie is the rousing, “Gonna Fly Now” theme with it’s “getting stronger” lyrics. We actually can’t watch it without wanting to get outdoors and exercise — or leap into a new creative project and pursue our dreams with renewed vigor! We listen to this theme music whenever we need some encouragement and motivation.
Other memorable movie music includes composer John Williams’ scores for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park. And how about those classic Hollywood musicals? We wrote several articles about The Sound of Music, which summed up the power of music in it’s theme:
The hills are alive with the sound of music…
With songs they have sung for a thousand years.
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music.
My heart wants to sing every song it hears!
Most musicals tend to have at least one incredibly encouraging and inspiring song. Disney’s Frozen has “Let it Go.” Annie has “Tomorrow”; Man of La Mancha has “To Dream the Impossible Dream; and Singing in the Rain has … er, “Singing in the Rain”!
Fellow creators and dreamers, are you taking full advantage of the power of music to stay encouraged? And are you being selective about what enters your brain through your ears? Truth is, what you listen to regularly becomes the musical backdrop to your dreams and creative endeavors. It can be an atmosphere that drags you down — or an inspiring score that elevates your spirit and facilitates your efforts, by keeping you encouraged and motivated; a score that ensures your dreams will be a smash at the “box office” of life.
Fellow creators and dreamers, the success of your “movie” (the story of your life) is linked to the music you choose to accompany it. So ask yourself, what’s your “score”? What’s the musical backdrop of my life? Does it really fit my story? Is it inspiring, uplifting and memorable? And most importantly, does it help to move my story forward?
Dear friends, make your musical selections wisely and intentionally. Be sure your ears are filled with God’s kind of music so your spirit and dreams can grow and thrive. If you don’t … well, someday you may have to face the music of your poor choices.
“He who has ears to hear, let him be listening and let him consider and perceive and comprehend by hearing.” (Matthew 11:15 NKJV)