By Ruth DuCharme

 published in Family Matters eNewsletter, January 28, 2015

Upon hearing of the death of Glenn Frey, the founding member of the rock band The Eagles, I pulled out my Eagle’s CDs and put them in my car to listen to and do a little reminiscing. You could say that the music of the Eagles was often playing in the background of my life – school dances, parties, guitar lessons, and the cassette player in my orange Volkswagon convertible. An Eagle’s song even found its way into our worship at Highland Hills one Sunday morning when Claude Hicks shared with us his version of Desperado.

I remember a specific time and song in high school on a beautiful evening when a group of us from my youth group traipsed into the woods and built a bonfire down by a pond. I distinctly remember listening to the Eagles croon the words to their song Seven Bridges Road – “There are stars in the Southern sky, southward as you go. There is moonlight and moss in the trees, down the Seven Bridges Road.” When that lilting, soft tune comes on the radio, my memory goes back to that night, those friends, and that time together. There
are some days when I can’t remember to pick up milk from the grocery store or where I laid my car keys, but there are memories, like that night back in 1982, that seem to be forever etched in my mind.

It is amazing and powerful how music can trigger a vivid memory and transport us back in time and space. The songs we love seem to weave us together connecting the people, seasons, and locations of our life. Musical memories can stir up feelings of romance or heartbreak, joy or pain.

The power of music is one reason that music has played such an important role in the church throughout the centuries. Hymns have a way of teaching us theology and helping us voice our prayers. The music of instruments can guide us to tune our hearts and minds towards the worship of God. Music teaches our children the stories of faith and gives them a means of expressing their faith.

Music is a gift that stirs us. It stirs us to remember, to reflect, and to voice our emotions. What soundtrack is playing in the background of your life right now? Listen closely, because one day these melodies will stir your heart again and cause you to remember this time and place in a special way.