I know it sounds weird, but I’m a musician who hates most music.
I have stacks of LPs and a working turntable but I’m tired of all of them. I have an even bigger stack of CDs that I never want to hear again. Sometimes, I’ll put one in the player and the music that I used to crave makes me angry instead.
Before I could talk, I loved music. My earliest longings had to do with wanting new music, either to listen to, or to play. I could sit for hours and soak in the music on my stereo. I used to love working on new music to perform. I sang in school choirs and put up with many a temperamental choir instructor because I wanted to be a part of the music.
I think the longing is still there, but the music doesn’t fill it anymore.
Sometimes it will still reach me. If I hear a real singer who worked hard enough to discipline his body to do it right, I like it. If I hear a song with real feelings being expressed, I like that. And I still like a little of the older, melody rich music.
In fact, on rare occasions, a real piece of well performed music can me cry.
“Where have you been?” I want to ask. “I’ve missed you terribly.”
Losing the music happened about the same time I lost the sense of God’s presence.
There’s a glib story where the first person says, “Things have changed. I can’t find God anymore.” And the second person says cleverly, “Well, God hasn’t changed. It must be you.”
I freely admit that I’ve changed. I’m more educated and thoughtful. I’m kinder. In many ways I’m better at ministry than I’ve ever been. In view of my growth, I would have expected to see more of God, but instead it feels like less.
It’s not like I can go back and be what I once was. I can’t go back to liking the old music. I can’t go back to praying to the God of my childhood Sunday School.
I have to keep moving forward. But why does growing up make me so empty?