Two of the issues I struggle with are escapism and immoderation.
I’ve spent about twenty years applying both, liberally, to the realm of music. I’ve built my identity around my love of/knowledge of/involvement with/ownership of music.
Recently I had two dreams which I sensed were communications from Jesus, who I follow. The first suggested that I had abdicated control of my musical obsessions to oppressive spiritual elements, and I needed to be free from that oppression. The second suggested that I wrongly saw myself as ‘in control’ of my musical obsessions, and that I risked passing this oppression down to my children.
I prayed about this, and after consideration, I felt pretty certain that Jesus was asking me to lay down control of music. One aspect of this directive was to give up my cds, which embody my obsession. Another was to delete the iTunes library and stop intentionally listening to music. No headphones at work, no putting a cd on the stereo in the evening. Jesus reassured me that he knew how much I loved music, and that this was good, but that for the foreseeable future he would control when, what and how much I heard. When I hear music I love from now on, I’m to view it as a personal gift from God, an expression of his love for me. It’s been over 4 months since I listened to anything on purpose.
This has turned out to be both excruciating and fruitful for me. I’m completely reorienting myself to music. On the other side of this process, I feel like there’s a new identity for me, one that more closely resembles both who I really am and who Jesus is. I’m excited about that.