The Playlist of Life

I am under the influence.

Of some powerful tunes, that is. Right now, I am writing this from approximately 33,000 feet somewhere over the Rockies. The airplane is obnoxiously loud. But I have my music. So I am good.

I can’t write without music. I’ve tried.

There is something about different types of music that unleashes my creativity and intelligence. From Baroque music to Gregorian chant to country, techno, rock, and folk..all of it is good stuff. My playlist is eclectic to say the least.

The local NPR station in Fort Wayne has a show called Under the Influence, on which guests share the five songs that have influenced them the most.

I thought it would be fun to do so myself here.

My top five most meaningful and impactful songs:

5. Round Here by Counting Crows

It is hard for me to believe that this classic is nearly twenty years old. I feel kind of old now.

This song was the beginning of a love for Counting Crows that ultimately became a huge part of what is now an eighteen-year friendship. Every time I hear this song or any song by them, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have such a great friendship.

4. Change Your Mind by Sister Hazel

When I won my biggest golf tournament in 2000, this was the song that was in my head. Every time I wanted to sulk, they lyrics reminded me that “if I want to be somebody else, change your mind.” I would snap to it and refocus on what I wanted to achieve.

I wrote about this song in-depth before here (must-read post). It is a reminder that whatever you want, if your mind is out of sync with your goals, you need to change it. Since that tournament, this song has held a special place in my heart.

3. Mrs. Robinson by Simon and Garfunkel

Besides being an American classic, this song holds a special place for me because it is the song that was playing in my dad’s car when he picked me up for a special weekend when I was seven. I’ll never forget that moment or that weekend and I will always think fondly of those times when I hear this song.

2. How He Loves by John Mark McMillan

I remember the first time I heard the story of this song. If you have been around the Christian music scene, you have certainly heard about it. If not, you can hear the story here.

This song is a powerful reminder that, as Lacey Mosley, the lead singer of Flyleaf says (I wrote about this recently here):

no matter who you are or what you are or what you believe or what you do or what you’ve done that God loves you

Often, that is all I need to know.

1. Born Again by Third Day

I first heard this song on the way to work on the Monday morning after a retreat I had taken. This song said exactly what I was feeling:

Well, today I found myself
After searching all these years
And the man that I saw
He wasn’t at all who I thought he’d be

I was lost when You found me here
And I was broken beyond repair
Then You came along
And You sang Your song over me

It feels like I’m born again
It feels like I’m living
For the very first time
For the very first time in my life

Make a promise to me now
Reassure my heart somehow
That the love that I feel
Is so much more real than anything

I’ve a feeling in my soul
And I pray that I’m not wrong
That the life I have now
Is only the beginning

I played that song every day for four months. I played it every time I left my now wife’s house to go back to mine. That is how I felt each time I was with her. Husbands should feel that way even after years of marriage. I should feel that way today.

We danced our first dance to that song at our wedding.

The life we had now was only the beginning.

What five songs represent or have impacted your life the most?

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