Bless the Blasts from Your Past

By Rev. Kurt Condra 

A recent New York Times survey of Spotify users indicates our musical tastes are formed between ages 11 and 16. For me, that was the '70s. But instead of nostalgic, as an adult, I've been embarrassed by a dirty little secret: My 8-track collection included the schmaltzy likes of Barry Manilow, The Carpenters and Tony Orlando & Dawn.

But that changed last week: I was blessed to see TheoUbique's current production, "8-Track: The Sounds of the '70s." It's a compilation of 60 tunes woven together to tell a decade-long story of the intertwined dynamics between culture and politics, violence and peace, love and loss. As I listened with ears to hear, a decade that formerly held little appeal was redeemed.  A soul-deep wound I didn't realize I carried was healed. My new perspective is truer and wiser. I even feel grateful for my angsty teenage years.

Whether we pine for days gone by or celebrate their passage, our personal and collective histories color our perceptions more than we consciously realize. When the disciples ask why he teaches in parables, Jesus puts it this way: “...seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.” 

But parables, like the ones embedded in familiar songs, can open our hearts to emotion that heals, insights that enlighten and wisdom that inspires. So next time you notice your spirit shrinking from embarrassment, criticism, resentment or hurt, affirm "I have eyes to see and ears to hear." Then get curious about the stories coloring your thinking and believing. Allow spirit to do it's mighty work, and I promise your heart will be healed, your mind and body calmed, and your consciousness raised.