I stopped myself because I have to be very careful in this area. The last thing I want to do is yield to becloudedness. But then I thought about the songs that I was selecting for this playlist. Were they really melancholy? Yes, I suppose they were, but the overriding theme in each song was hope in the amazing God who is our creator and sustainer. These kind of songs sneak hope into places where hope has been beclouded, in a way that is unassuming and consistent with reality. They turn our eyes gently upwards to gaze on our Maker, without pretending there are no tears. They tell us the truth about our great God without creating an imaginary world of fluffy, fuzzy perfection. And so I am grateful for such songs.
For that reason I decided not to abandon the playlist. Instead I changed the name to 'songs of beholding'.
Sometimes we need the honesty of these songs.
Sometimes however, we don’t.
Sometimes we just need to get over ourselves and stop feeding the parts of ourselves that enjoy the darkness. This might mean listening to upbeat songs like 'Life' by Desiree, which includes lines full of meaning, such as: 'I don't want to see a ghost, it's the sight that I fear most, I'd rather have a piece of toast, watch the evening news.' (Rhyme it sister!!) Or it might involve watching Flight of the Conchords until you feel you might die with laughter (feel free to replace with whatever comic genious you enjoy more).
Sometimes this works.
Sometimes it doesn’t.
So one needs great discernment in knowing what one needs in any given state of melancholy. My resolve is to be careful, and to keep enjoying and appreciating the moments of light-heartedness given to me in this world. To listen to the feel-good songs as well as the thought-provoking ones. To be real, but fun; serious, but spontaneous; sorrowful but overflowing with joy! To love deeply, give freely, breathe in great lungfuls of God's wonderful grace regularly. To lean my full weight upon the one who made me. To keep being honest about what I am feeling and asking Him to protect me from the sin of indulging in despair.