What is the big deal with vinyl records being so popular again these days? Weren’t we already through that phase in musical history? Didn’t our fathers and our father’s fathers sell their crates of LPs at garage sale prices decades ago? And now…now they are on sale at places like Barnes & Noble, Guitar Center, and hipster havens near you for the price of a new phone. Oh yes, don’t forget that new phone can play all the same music anyway!
I promise I’m not a curmudgeon when it comes to listening to records on vinyl, in fact, I’d be a person that would want to convince you to try it out if you haven’t before. But it’s questions like the ones above that drive people to consider the way in which they prefer to listen to music. To take things a step further, I’d also be a person that would want to convince you that the activity of listening record provides perspective for Christian faith. There are principles out there that can be found that show us why some prefer vinyl music over other types. Below are just a couple of those principles and how they can correlate to daily spiritual life.
There is more effort involved when you listen to vinyl. It’s a little different than selecting your Spotify playlist, or hitting a radio preset in your car. One approaches their turntable, chooses an album, and then physically pulls out the record. Then, one has to move the turntable arm and lower the needle in the correct place to begin. The extra effort is rewarded with warm, dynamic sounds instead of more compressed mp3 sounds. This principle holds true in our faith as well. More effort in our spiritual lives yields a closer, more dynamic relationship with God. 2 Peter chapter 1 speaks of making extra effort to add goodness, knowledge and self control to our lives. When we add these things, Peter writes, it keeps us from “being unproductive in our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
It is an experience you won’t soon forget. I’ve heard “Who Loves You” by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons more times than I can count, but I will never forget watching my dad set that record on his big silver TEAC stereo system and letting it boom throughout our house. I’ve heard them a handful of times on the radio, but I won’t forget the first time I listened to the Arctic Monkeys on my first real record player. Genuine encounters make the greatest of impressions on us. These encounters become locked into our minds and hearts, and it’s almost like they become a part of us. Have you ever felt like music in some way is a part of you? That’s exactly how God wants to be (and can be) a part of our lives. After a genuine encounter with God, we can be changed by His grace and forgiveness. Out of that encounter, we place our faith in Him, and, through the Holy Spirit, He becomes a part of us.
The way that you listen to music, of course, is completely up to you. The eternal impact of a relationship with God is also hinges on our choice, but is the most genuine encounter you’ll ever have in this life and the next. I hope you consider taking steps to build that relationship today, and let that effort begin to enrich your relationship with God.