“I can’t seem to find Funkytown on Google Maps.” bumper sticker wit
It is probably difficult for Millennials or Gen Z-ers to imagine, but there was once a time when one could pump gas or buy groceries without listening to music.
Alas, that time has passed. And, because of this, so has any illusion that there is even a scrap of youth left in me. The oldies music piping so cheerily from speakers just everywhere is my music. The music of the ’80s. The music of my youth. The music from when I actually cared about the Top 40.
It kind of crept up on me. There’d be a song from Michael Jackson’s Thriller playing at the girls’ orthodontist and my foot would start tapping. Then, there’d be a Eurythmics song at the grocery and I’d realize I knew all the words — even though I didn’t particularly like the Eurythmics back in the day. (Annie Lennox was kind of scary.)
Now, I have to admit, I occasionally rock out in the privacy of my car while I am waiting for our daughters to show up after some event somewhere. I just make sure I turn the volume way down and the radio way off before they are within 20 feet. It’s unseemly for a woman of my age to be wiggling in her seat and singing along to the Go Go’s “Vacation.”
There is a downside to all this nostalgia, however. Songs of one’s youth trigger memories of one’s youth.
An example? Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses at Night” conjurs the clearest and oddest image of walking out the door of an ice cream shop with my two best friends and a date. I was young, I was in like and I was bubbly happy. That’s nice enough. But, what’s with the “sunglasses at night” thing? Was one of us wearing them? Was the song playing? Who knows?
Another song, Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” reminds me of dancing (badly) in front of a curtain printed with hideous blue and pink roses, egged on by a pack of girl friends who knew of my star crush on George Michael. Again, who knew?
It occurs to me that memories of my church-girl youth, while far from perfect, are probably more innocuous than some of my peers. Or those who are older. Or those who are younger.
Truth is, no matter how goody two shoes we were or are, we’ve all fallen short of God’s best for us. And, Satan, our ever-present adversary, will use whatever he’s got to make sure there’s “always something there to remind.” That includes music from way back when.
We might not be able to turn it off or even tune it out. But, we can remember what God says about the sins of our youth (or any other age) whenever Satan attempts a total eclipse of the heart.
If we’ve already turned from these sins and are living in grace and faith, they are as far away as the east is from the west, as deeply buried as if they were tossed into the ocean. And, if we haven’t yet said goodbye to sin, we still can. The God who really does watch every breath you take is still in the forgiving business.
So, take joy … and don’t stop believin’. 😉