Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When is disliking not really disliking?

Sometimes we are encouraged by friends in ways that surprise us. In past postings I have shared about my morning coffee days with my two very traditional friends. These two are very much into the traditional music scene in the Methodist church: choirs, robes, organs, the works. One of these friends will attend a contemporary worship service when the chance arises, but the other generally would not. He makes no bones about this: "I just don't like the music!" Given that I have been intimately involved with that music at that church for most of the last decade, I very much appreciated his honesty, if not his taste in music.

So, the other day, I heard that he had changed his position. He now liked praise music. He still didn't want to listen to it, but he liked it.


Well, it turns out he had a discussion with a mutual friend at church, a wonderful 60-something grandmother. He found out several things: first, that she really liked the music. Not a surprise there, since she had been attending the contemporary service for years. More importantly, she explained how the music facilitated and encouraged her worship. This is what struck my traditional friend. The last thing he thinks about while experiencing contemporary Christian music is enjoyment, much less worship. So this was quite a revelation.

So now we have a convert. Someone who values praise music as highly as traditional music. Values, but not enjoys. I love that! How many of us can claim to accept things in our lives that really get on our nerves, but we know are important to others. How much love for our fellow Christians that shows!

Can you name anything in this category? Specific examples?

I'd like to think of myself as tolerant and accepting, but there are definitely things that bug me. For me, when there is song playing behind the spoken pastoral prayer, I have a hard time focusing on the prayer. I've been told by others that such songs really help. I'm sure there are aspects of the worship service that don't do anything for me, yet I know are important to others. It's hard to just ignore things but I believe it is important and a very fundamental part of "Do unto others." I hope you agree.



golfdoc said...

Dave , I don't like music behind prayer if I know the tune because it forces me to try and think of the lyrics . It's a natural tendency us musicians have to pair the two .
However I love soft , flowing random stuff that some pianists do . I just
dislike having my attention drawn away by a familiar melody .

Dave Wyble said...

Doc - you've hit the nail right on the head here. If it is a song, I find it very distracting. The random stuff is great, and actually helps. Or at least it does not hurt.

Thanks for stopping by.