Does anyone listen to CDs anymore?
Years ago, I sold my CDs at the back of the house after events like women’s retreats, conferences and luncheons where I served either as worship leader or speaker. These days, you can find my music on Spotify and iTunes. I no longer engage in music ministry and I haven’t kept an inventory of CDs.
Except for Adoration—a CD I recorded more than twenty years ago.
Adoration was the first of two worship CDs that my husband, Steve, and I produced. I didn’t like how the packaging turned out, but thankfully Steve is an excellent designer, so we tore open those CD cases for repackaging. We printed the redesigned case inserts and assembled the nicer looking CDs as needed for selling at the back of the house. In time, the music on Adoration aged and its popularity faded. We repackaged fewer and fewer copies, and eventually stopped altogether, leaving more than a hundred shrink-wrapped CDs stacked in a rack in a dusty corner of my garage.
I had total hip replacement surgery last May. Prior to going under the knife, my friend, Toby, blessed me big time by helping clean my garage so that I could maneuver between the cars with my walker. With a practical reason and an industrious friend, I was more than ready to toss the junk blocking easy access to the car doors.
“What do you want to do with all these old CDs?” Steve asked. “Throw them in the trash?”
“No.” Something more than nostalgia niggled at my gut. “God has a plan for them.”
I’m not sure why I said that. I’m not even sure I believed it. But I simply couldn’t put those old CDs in the garbage. I never liked the original design and had no plans to invest in repackaging them, but how could I throw away timeless, sacred worship music? Instead, we boxed up more than a hundred CDs and stored them neatly in a cupboard in my garage.
Seven months passed. Then, God revealed his plan for those CDs.
In women’s Bible study at my church last month, I taught about entering God’s presence.
As I prepared to teach from Exodus 33:7-11, I thought of a way to give our women a practical illustration of what having a “face-to-face” conversation with God looks like for me.
I planned to use three visual aids and hold them up one-by-one during my teaching session (which was the first in a three-part series):
- my Bible
- my journal
- my worship CD
Early in my presentation, I told the women that I always take three items with me when I go into the “Tent of Meeting” to converse with God. I held up my Bible and noted that our women’s pastor had instructed the table leaders to encourage the women to bring their good, old-fashioned, hardcopy Bibles to this particular series. I told them I was looking forward to hearing the sound of rustling pages, which has been silenced by digital devices that instantly deliver the requested Bible passage. Next, I held up my copy of the journal that our women’s pastor had provided for each attendee to use during this series. Finally, I pointed out the dust-encrusted CDs stacked in the middle of each table. I shared my garage purge dilemma and told the women to use my CD as a visual aid to remind them of the important role worship music plays in our “face-to-face” meetings with God. We shared a laugh about the condition of the CDs, and I begged them to throw away the cases even if they decided to keep its music on a hard drive or in a CD player—if they actually had one.
I was not prepared for the responses I received the following week at Bible study.
That old music still had life! The songs that had welcomed and celebrated the presence of God twenty years ago can still draw us into his throne room today. Women kept thanking me for the “gift” of my CD.
My trash had become a treasure.
My favorite comment came from a young woman whose grandmother is receiving hospice care.
“She’s been despondent for weeks,” the woman said, eyes dancing. “But I took your CD over and as soon as it started to play, she lit up and said, ‘I remember singing these songs in church.’ She has been listening to it every day.”
I’m covered with goosebumps even now at the thought of God using my old CD to restore and revive a dying woman.
Does anyone listen to CDs anymore?
I ask again because my “trash or treasure” illustration applies to more than CDs.
What item once brought you (and those you shared it with) joy? What are some of the dusty old reminders of God’s activity in your life? What have you discarded that might refresh and renew?
Does anyone (fill in the blank) anymore?
Here’s what came to my mind as potential fill ins:
- Go roller skating
- Play Bunco
- Eat family dinner
- Take a Sunday drive
I’m guessing you can add to my list. If something more than nostalgia niggles at your gut when you fill in the blank, I encourage you to consider the strong possibility that someone may treasure the very things you trashed.
Christmas is just days away, and I’ve got the perfect last-minute, inexpensive gift idea…
Why not dig up and dust off that old thing?
Why not watch that old movie, play that old board game, or visit that old spot?
Why not see if anyone is interested in what once captivated you?