About 7 years ago, I inherited my Father and Mother's old turntable and record collection. At the time I didn't think too much of it. They didn't have enough space for storage in their new home so I tucked it away underneath my staircase and promptly forgot about them, until a few weeks ago when I went underneath there to find something. I can't remember what I was looking for, but what I found was a treasure of memories.
I pulled out the old fashioned DUAL 502 belt drive turntable from underneath the stairs and ventured to put it all together with our receiver. I plugged it all in wrong the first few tries, but eventually I did manage to get it to work and the hip sounds of Huey Lewis and the News filled my living room.
After Huey it was Liberace's turn and then I pulled out Engelbert Humperdinck and as the song Quando Quando Quando rang out through the speakers I was transported to the age of 8 years old and I was learning to dance while standing on my dads toes in our living room at 2115 Farnham Place.
I noticed that my Foreigner 4 and Journey albums were missing from the pile of vinyl records, and there were only the vintage albums of my parents time left. The ones that I use to roll my eyes at as a teenager every time they played the archaic outdated music. I my suppose Foreigner 4 and Journey albums would be considered Golden Oldies now, eh? Although, I did hear my youngest daughter singing "Don't stop believing" the other day as she listened to her Ipod. She's got that one downloaded.
As I pulled out the Christmas albums the other day, and tried to put the albums in some kind of order, a thought came to me. I was thinking about my story. The story of my life, and I realized, I'm like one of those old records. Over the years, my life has had a few tough times. Depression, loneliness, fear, low self worth has shown it's ugly head. I'm a bit weathered, a little scratched up and dusty. As I looked closer to the album, beyond the dust, past the scratches, I noticed the grooves where the music is hidden, and I realized deep within the grooves of my heart is a song. I never thought of it as a worthwhile song, but God tells me it's a beautiful song that He created. He wants me to allow Him to put it on that turntable, so the music can play out to let others hear.
It's taken me many years to be able to visualize just how much God loves me, and for me to be able to embrace that truth with all my heart.
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
Each of us is a record. Some of us are a little more scratched up, some are less dusty, but each of us has a beautiful song within the grooves. My prayer for you is to know without a doubt that you are a beautiful song. Beyond the scratches and dust may you allow God to take you out of that dark place under the stairs that you've been hiding in and let Him bring you into the light of the Living room to be played and enjoyed.
Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom an pain of it no less that in the excitement and gladness; touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments and life itself is grace.