Have you ever fallen in love with a song? You listen over and over and no matter how bad a day you may be having, you listen to that song and it melts you. But then you try and share it with a loved one or a friend. And what happens? They politely listen, are happy for you that you like it so much and they walk away, unmoved.
What happened there? Several things actually.
First, they may simply have different tastes. Even if someone likes the same artist you do, that doesn’t mean they will like every song by that performer.
Second, their brief exposure to the song doesn’t give them a chance to “own” it themselves. They may download the same song or borrow your CD and listen to it themselves later. And perhaps, they may bond with it as you did. In which case, despite your initial wet-blanket experience, you now have a Simpatico, a fellow member of your now two-person fan club. You’ve just proven the old adage that “a pleasure shared is a pleasure doubled.”
But what happens when no one else ever feels the same way you do about that song? Or, let’s get to the point of all this, what happens if you travel somewhere that wends its way through your skin to your heart and lungs and into the core of your being and no one else is so moved by the place? “Yeah, that was real pretty” may be the best you get from them. You have several choices.
- You can sulk. That will really endear you to your traveling companions.
- You can try and persuade. The results I get from this approach range from mild hostility to a patronizing, “Oh, you’re right. It was lovely.” But somehow their tone of voice, the subtle eye roll or the speed with which they move to the next topic betrays their true feelings.
- You can ignore it all. Water off a duck’s back and all that. Sometimes this works. Sometimes. I just don’t find I’m all that good at it. We’re created for community. The desire to share with others is part of who we are. Ignoring that tends to make you hard, less willing to try and share next time.
But there is another way.
Did you ever think that maybe you responded to that song or that place for a reason? Even if no one else in the entire universe or at least the twenty block radius around you cares, did you ever wonder why you liked it so much?
Only God knows us completely. As we saw in the last entry on wants versus likes, we don’t even know ourselves all that well. But he does. And he knows exactly what we need whether it is a song that infuses us with joy or a place that lifts our spirits in inexplicable ways. God gives us these as gifts, small packages of grace wrapped in a beautiful melody or an exotic locale. Wherever we are, alone or in a crowd, we can always share these experiences with the One who provided them.
These gifts are God loving on us, saying to us ‘I see you. I know you. Here is something for you.’ So relax and enjoy your trip or the song that is playing just for you.