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Earworms from God
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“Who put the bop in the bop-she-bop-she-bop?” That song has been running through my head all morning. It was already there when I woke up. I have no idea why; I haven’t heard it in ages. For some reason, over the past six months or so, songs that were popular when I was growing up have been popping into my mind at unexpected times. There they linger, providing an interesting backdrop to my daily routine.

Of course, I went online and googled what was happening, and learned that this phenomenon is known by various names: earworm, song worm, and stuck song syndrome. Well, I don’t think what I have is serious enough to be called a syndrome, but it’s happening more and more often.


According to the articles I read, earworms usually consist of music a person has heard recently. But that’s not true for me. Invariably, the music is from my childhood and teen years – like today’s ditty. My theory is that this is a good thing, because I’m continuing to grow spiritually and intellectually and, as I do, I’m simply starting to run out of brain space. So, the little organizers in my brain are getting rid of old, unused materials to make room for the new, and they let me enjoy it one last time before they give it away.


As I happily sang along to the song in my head this morning, I realized that I had unwittingly set up this future experience through experiences I’d had decades ago. I’m glad I grew up in an era of generally happy music. What would my life be like now if most of the music I listened to was depressing or even violent?


And then I began to apply that concept to other parts of my life. What other aspects of my life are impacted by the choices I made long ago? And, while I am now an older adult, I still may live another twenty years or more. How will the habits I’m forming or nurturing now impact my outlook on life ten years from now?


The small, seemingly insignificant choices I make every day shape my experience of life. And this leads me to look at my daily life with new eyes and ask new questions. Do I live in accordance with my spiritual convictions? Do I try to direct such emotions as anger and fear in creative ways?

Those last two questions come from a set of questions developed by the Society of Friends (Quakers). I discovered them years ago in my spiritual searching and have turned to them again and again when I find myself challenged by life. They are called “Quaker Queries,” and they address every aspect of life.


As I begin 2017, I once again find myself turning to the Queries because I am hungry to grow in God this year. In future blogs I’ll share the Queries and my thoughts with you as I wrestle with what it means to live as a Christian.


And the first thing I’ll do is listen to inspiring, uplifting music so God can plant new earworms of grace and beauty, faith and hope in my brain. Who knows? Maybe they’ll pop out at unexpected moments in the future when I’m most in need of encouragement..


Pastor Vivian Hiestand, Executive Pastor

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