I forget how much I truly love you all (and by “all,” I mean “most of you”).
If you don’t know me well enough by now, I’ll tell you one thing that is almost always true: I am very intentional. If I act like I’m irritated with you, then I probably am; if I act like I’m thrilled to be with you, then I probably am; if I act like I’m impatient, then I probably am; if I act like I don’t want you to touch my piano, then I probably don’t; if I give you a tin of chocolate-covered pretzels, then I was singing prayers over you (I know that doesn’t make sense to any of you, but…trust me, it makes sense); if I have the television turned onto the Tiger game, then I’m watching the game; and if I’m not answering my phone, then I don’t want to talk. Nine times out of ten, I act intentionally.
It should be stated for the record, however, that those “one times out of ten” that I don’t act intentionally, I tend to make the biggest blunders. I really am quite scatter-brained, and when I screw up, I do a dandy of a job. But most of the time–at least from my perspective–I am intentional.
And music is no different. There is a reason I don’t listen to rap. There is a reason I listen to southern gospel. There is a reason I like 4Him but not Point of Grace (I miss you, 4Him). There is a reason I like PFR and Dimestore Prophets. And there is a reason I am so opposed to most of the newer CCM. There is a reason Rich Mullins was my hero. Songwriting is far more than rhyming and rearranging the three chords you know on your guitar. Songwriting is a gift, and it is a struggle. I don’t particularly enjoy songs (particularly Christian songs) that are easy-listening, make you “feel good” kind of stuff. If it’s going to make me feel good, it had better at least be musically or literarily whimsical. Either one suffices. But same-old, same-old, two verses, chorus, one-four-five progression, “Jesus” rhymes with “frees us,” songwriting just doesn’t do a whole lot for me. If it makes you feel good, then…by all means, enjoy it.
But for me? Music must be whimsical. Chris Rice caught me off-guard today. I was driving home and had only a handful of CDs with me, and one of them was his old Past the Edges album. I haven’t listened to Chris Rice in, oh, at least a year! Today, he caught me by surprise and with delight! Have you heard Smellin Coffee? Talk about whimsical! Musically, it couldn’t be more whimsical unless it were Cake (but don’t tell anyone that I listen to Cake; it’s Jenn’s fault).
So I am inspired. Tonight as I dip pretzels, I will pull out all of my old CDs and listen to them (well, not every single one of them, but definitely a couple). I’ll leave you with some Smellin Coffee:
I remember reading you’re the God who never sleeps
While I’ve been dreaming, you’ve been singing over me, yeah
Singing about my freedom, waking me up to hear your song
Now I can’t dance hard enough, cause yesterday is gone, gone, gone!
Love your CDs, people.