Face the Music


Music can cut both ways by piercing your emotional armor, bringing peace, inspiration and maybe tears. But sometimes you also have to face the music, pay the piper, and march to the beat of someone else’s drum. To quote the obvious, there’s no free lunch in life; everybody is held accountable somehow to someone, sometime.

Examples? How about Navy Seals publicly posturing for bragging rights as to who actually shot Bin Laden, they’ll surely answer to the Pentagon as to why they couldn’t keep their mouths shut. Penn State was certainly held accountable, Richard Nixon had to resign and I believe Kim Jung Un leader of North Korea will ultimately face the music, charged with crimes against humanity. So what about here in middle America, do we answer for our actions as well? You know it.

Answer to whom you ask? How about your spouse, your kids, your conscience, the law or maybe the Lord; we all answer for our actions. Politicians have thick skins, huge ego’s, lots of money; calling them self centered is being polite. But every now and then they are held accountable by the public and get tossed, it’s refreshing. A white Ferguson Missouri cop will face the music even if the grand jury acquits him, which I think is probable very soon. Me? I’ve made some spectacular mistakes along the way and I’ve paid, believe me. Frankly, I deserved to pay for a few of my poor decisions, but I was also collateral damage a few times. That is when forgiveness is a challenge. Some people were collateral damage due to my choices and for that I am deeply sorry. In hindsight, I was young, reckless and running, a lot. I now live with my conscience and therefore, try to be a better man.

So how does any of this relate to music? I can listen to a tune and it takes me back to a time in my life. Then by association I reflect on what I was doing at that time; that can be good and it can also be very unsettling. When my wife was incarcerated for two years, iTunes music settled me down so I could finally get some sleep. At church when I sat in the back row alone, worship music cut through my walls and anger. I felt peace and hope, for awhile. Later, I recall listening to “Will the Circle be Unbroken,” by the Neville Brothers and feeling a sad foreboding, worrying about losing my sister; which I did to cancer. Elizabeth loved reggae, so now I occasionally listen to Bob Marley sing “No Woman No Cry,” and I reflect on her life journey and death. Grieving with the help of music; I guess that’s healthy.

What’s the take away here? Look in the mirror, take a hard look, how will you be remembered? What’s your legacy? Wealth, acquisitions, affairs, redemption, forgiveness or philanthropy? One last time, we all account for our actions somehow. Music can help you through hard lonely times, be it financial, emotional or doing time behind the wire. Lest we forget, and at the risk of sounding like a wild eyed bible thumper with a TV show, all your shame filled transgressions can be history. Just have a relationship with Jesus and ask for His forgiveness. One-on-one, in private, with no selfies. The results may be music to your ears and others may take note.

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