Third Eye Blind is the reason I didn’t kill myself in 2010, so how’s that for the power of music? I can still remember sitting in my car, listening to Motorcycle Drive By, and deciding I wanted to live. I wasn’t teetering on the edge, ready to take the plunge, but the thought was there, and it lingered, and it looked good.
It’s a good song. Didn’t change anything about my life, but it took all the reasons – however intangible and impossible to articulate – that I wanted to live, and drug them up out of the depths and onto the beaches of my heart.
I still don’t really know what they were. I don’t know what I thought was going to justify going on another day. But that song – an angsty recollection about a doomed relationship with a girl from New York – sounded like hope. And it still does.
It sounded like resurrection, but that wasn’t even in my vocabulary when I was 16.
I think I can identify that as a turning point in my life, maybe the really big one. If I wrote an autobiography it’d be it’s own chapter. I sat in a car one evening and started to believe the gospel while a pagan sang about a girl.
That’s how music works. Because that’s how people work. I met Jesus months later, but it started there. I was done with something, even though I wasn’t sure what it was. Eventually my head-strings caught up with my heartstrings and I trusted Jesus in a tangible way. Because I heard a song that sounded like resurrection.
That’s why we believe the gospel more deeply when we encounter God in musical worship. Especially corporate musical worship. Music knits people together around the Conductor.
That’s why our faith doesn’t wither away amidst the onslaught of failure, depression, and hopelessness. God is a disease, and once we’ve caught Him too many songs remind us of Him. God is a disease and music is a dirty syringe.
I’m at a worship gathering as I write this. The crowd around me is singing Be Thou My Vision. High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art, they sing. They’re bloody well right, and it’s never more tangible than these moments.