The history of how music began is far from certain or documented. The only part of music history that seems clear is that every group of people (including the most isolated people/tribes who have lived on this earth) have had forms of music so music is a fundamental and important part of our human experience. Many scientists believe that music may date back even early than the human diaspora (when human beings began to move from Africa around the world) which was 50,000 years ago.
So the idea that music affects me in such a powerful way I see as a blessing in most instances. I receive answered to prayers and questions of faith through music. I have felt anger and despair through music and used lyrics and song to channel and try to 'funnel' off painful emotions so that they no longer hurt me as deeply. I have felt a joy so strong that I have cried silently while laughing as I have listened and I have felt a stronger peace than I have ever known in silence. What a blessing music is not only to me, but to human beings as thinking, breathing, loving, human beings!
Think back at how music in its many forms has changed since you were a child... If you were Mormon, you can now get hymns set to rock music- a pretty unthinkable thing just twenty years ago. The internet allows us to get music from all over the world and from all genres. We have more choice in what we listen to than human beings have ever had IMO. What is music to you? What does music do for you?
1. I might need it again in the future and then I might have to buy it – so I am paying over fifty dollars a month to store things worth much less so that I do not have to buy them again???? That seemed silly when I thought about it, especially if you consider the fact that some of the things I hadn't used in years and my life was not wanting for it.
2. It 'might have' sentimental value so I should save it – I am not talking about scrapbooks here; I am talking about a cat photo of a cat you do not know, but it makes you laugh and since it makes you laugh.... you keep it. You of course find it tacky and know that your husband will never want you to hang it... but it makes you laugh... so you keep it.
3. But it might be valuable and so keeping it as an investment is a good idea – well, I guess some things are possible... but are you going to make any money if you spend money every month for years to store it?
It amazed me how much stuff I needed to get rid off. It also amazed me how anxiety producing the whole experience was for me. It was really hard to give away things that were not really useful, but were 'mine'. So as I really struggled with this (and have for years), I found the only way to actually do it right was to have an 'outside' anxiety pressure me harder so that I couldn't feel the anxiety of giving away my things. Frankly, that's pretty crazy! So I have taken a little time to try and think over that particular issue. Why did I feel so uncomfortable giving away things? Things that do not matter. Things that are not even very valuable or needful for almost anyone on the planet. Why was that soooo hard?
It turns out that the less money you have, the harder it is to give away things- even broken, useless things. That isn't the only answer. Apparently, many people feel uncomfortable if they do not have lots of things. Even things that are not valuable play into their self esteem and good thoughts about themselves and how they are doing. So people buy things to make themselves feel better, as a substitute for companionship, as a compulsion because of a mental disorder such as bipolar disorder, or just because it feels 'good' to be surrounded by things. So, I probably felt some anxiety because I do have difficulty in affording things, I 'feel the need' to feel better and spending money helps with that, and it makes me feel useful and successful.
That is a little sad. Here I am, a beautiful daughter of God, with a wonderful husband, an amazing child, almost a new house.... blessings every where I look, but I am unable to fully appreciate them because I have so much anxiety about unimportant things. I have faith, a powerful testimony, and anxiety so crippling I am unsure how to utilize them. So... I have mastered the first step of realizing that there is a problem. Now I need to deal with it. That doesn't sound very fun.
Here I am
lying in bed with my son
dog at my feet
cat near my head
…. to my stomach growl
…. to my heart break
…. to the still small voice of comfort
…. to the sound of my tears
…. for the inspiration I seek
I am confused
I need peace
May peace come on light feet to my soul
The lyrics/song “I Need Thee Every Hour” was written in 1872 by Annie Hawks and Robert Lowry. Ms. Annie Sherwood Hawks was born in New York in May 1835 and was residing in Bennington, Vermont at her death on January 8, 1918. She was a prolific writer and began writing verse at the age of fourteen. She wrote dozens of articles for magazines and newspapers and wrote almost 400 hymns during her lifetime. Ms. Hanks began writing religious verse at the request of her Baptist pastor Robert Lowry who would then put the verse to music. This song was by far her most famous hymn.
When she was asked about how her inspiration for the hymn, she wrote:
“One day as a young wife and mother of 37 years of age, I was busy with my regular household tasks. Suddenly, I became so filled with the sense of nearness to the Master that, wondering how one could live without Him, either in joy or pain, these words, “I Need Thee Every Hour,” were ushered into my mind, the thought at once taking full possession of me. Seating myself by the open window in the balmy air of the bright June day, I caught up my pencil and the words were soon committed to paper."
What does this hymn mean to you? Do you like it? And if you have had need of it, how have you used it to sustain you?