I have the fortune of having a six-CD changer in my 10-year-old SUV. I hardly ever listen to the radio, just a selection of (mostly) praise music that never changes. (Slot six is reserved for rides with Margie. She'll say, "Baby, baby" from the back seat, and soon we're cruising town blaring The Beiber.)
Summer and sunshine lend themselves to more upbeat music, and this week I switched out all my tracks with a fresh set of music.
Among them was a CD by Trace Adkins. "I wanna feel something," was once my afternoon anthem. Every day on the commute home I'd play the song, repeating it a half-dozen times.
I wanna' feel somethin'
Somethin' that's real, somethin' that moves me, that proves to me I'm still alive.
I wanna heart that beats and bleeds, A heart that's bustin' at the seams
I wanna care, I wanna cry, I wanna scream
It's hard to explain that state of being in which one gets up every morning, moves through a day that disappoints your very spirit, only to repeat it the next day and the one thereafter. It's a bit like plodding through peanut butter.
Damn it all to hell, I'm done
Cause I don't like what I've become
I found joy in hearing the familiar tune for the first time in a couple of years. The words and sentiment now seemed foreign, they belonged to a different person, one I barely remember.
A full life necessarily contains highs and lows.
While in the valleys, we comfort one another with the old saw, "Hang in there, things will get better." Experience teaches us this, although hearing it never seems to help much at the time.
The Bible recommends perseverance as well: "Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
I am thankful for a renewed mind (Romans 12:2), I am thankful to have arrived in this season of peace. I carry around the quiet knowledge that I am blessed and beloved.
Like David in Psalm 40, "I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth."
-- Tracy Simmons is a features writer for the Times-Gazette. She may be reached at (931) 684-1200, ext. 217, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.