Saturday, July 14, 2018

Over My Head, I Hear Music in the Air

On a recent morning during my “meditative” walk, the words to the oldies song kept going through my head:

Five, Six, Seven O'clock, Eight O'clock rock
Nine, Ten, Eleven O'clock, Twelve O'clock rock
We're gonna rock around the clock tonight.

It was annoying. I often listen to an oldies station while I am preparing and cleaning up after dinner. Apparently, this Bill Haley song was on while doing so the evening before my walk.

I listen to music a lot. I listen to different genres of music. If you are anything like me, the last song I hear after turning off my source of music keeps spinning in my mind as I go about my daily activities. Apparently, it even carries over from the night before. Not all songs that echo back and forth in my head are annoying. Many are life giving.

Swiss choir performing Haydn's "Creation"
The spiritual “over my head, I hear music in the air,” captures this phenomenon well. When an annoying song keeps calling for my attention, I deliberately change the station (in my mind) to a prayerful song. I have a whole repertoire of these to use, depending on the most recent music that has inspired me, moved me to tears, or encouraged me. One which I often use is a hymn by George Beverley Shea:

I love thy presence Lord, The place of secret prayer.
My soul communes with thee,  and gone is earthly care.
I love thy presence Lord, to me thou art made real
As when on Galilean hills, thy loving touch didst heal.

When I place these words and the accompanying music “over my head,” a sense of the beyond overcomes me and “I hear music in the air.” When I repeat this music over and over in my mind I feel like “there must be a God somewhere.”  

After repeating this music over and over again on my meditative walks, it often stays with me throughout the rest of the day. It keeps coming back to me to remind me of God’s continual presence. This becomes especially important when I am dealing with a sensitive or depressing issue that tends to lower my spirits. Unfortunately, this has become more and more necessary in the current political climate in which we live. It has also become more necessary as I get older and am faced with more health issues. I need to “hear music in the air,” so that I can be assured that “there must be a God somewhere.”

Paul admonishes us to “pray without ceasing.” For me, the music in the air that is over my head is praying without ceasing. This is why it is so important to change the interior channel if an annoying ditty keeps running through our minds, whether it is a catchy advertisement, or a recent song we’ve heard on the radio.

The third verse of Shea’s hymn expresses what occurs for me by hearing music in the air:

O burden bearer kind, with power all divine,
The fears that tear my heart, are gladly borne by thine,
And as I seek to live, a life of ceaseless prayer,
Let not this child of thine, forget to meet thee often there.

“Over my head, I hear music in the air. There must be a God somewhere!”

Do you hear "music in the air?"
What is your favorite meditative music?

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