I pull the plastic wrap off the album and gaze at the soft brown cover. There is a man staring intently at the camera with his guitar propped against him. He has a kind smile on his face.
The Great Adventure.
I pop the CD into my player, and it doesn’t come out for another month. It is constantly on repeat. It was a birthday gift from a good friend. He knew that I had been listening to a loaned dcTalk cassette tape and thought that I would enjoy a new album by another Christian artist. It turns out that Steven Curtis Chapman turns into my favorite Christian artist.
I enjoy the music, but the lyrics compel me. I have gone to church for years and I believe in God, but he speaks of a faith that is lived everyday. He sings of a Savior that changed him completely. There is a peace and a passion evident throughout the album, and I long for it.
I don’t remember where it happened or exactly when. I can’t pinpoint an exact “salvation date.” I didn’t drop to my knees and confess all my sins at once and invite Jesus into my heart. But gradually, slowly, I started to let the message of these songs melt my heart a little. I felt myself soften and noticed I was praying more. Before I knew it, Jesus was Savior of my life. I found myself wanting to live for Him. All of my actions were held accountable to Him.
I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that Christian music saved my life. God could have reached through to me some other way, but He chose to do it through music. I’m thankful that He did.
Contemporary Christian music used to be the only thing I listened to. I cleared out all secular albums and tuned my car radio to the Christian station 24/7. Every song spoke directly to me. I could play name that tune and win every time.
Now, I rarely listen to it. The music seems trite and the lyrics contrived. There are a few Christian artists that I still respect and enjoy, and though I don’t listen to him much anymore, Steven Curtis Chapman is still one of my favorites. But on a whole, Christian radio just seems so unoriginal.
So I wonder… is it just me that’s changed or is it the music that’s changed? It may be due to a bit of burn-out, or changes in musical preference on my part. I also believe that this music is becoming unoriginal. Much of today’s Christian music lacks originality and passion. It’s like there’s this formula that all Christian musicians have to follow. Where’s the fun in that?