Have you ever gotten a song stuck in your head? You know, the words play on a loop in your brain, over and over again. You wake in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and your brain starts playing it. You rise in the morning and while you’re brushing your teeth, there it starts up again. Recently I was watching a DVD and the song “The Candy Man” came on. You know the one, ”Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew…the candy man can. The candy man can cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good.” I hear Sammy Davis Jr. singing in my head when I hear this song but perhaps you hear the Willy Wonka version.
There may be other songs that play in your head, like “Who let the dogs out…who, who, who?” Or maybe “Oh, Mickey your so fine, your so fine you blow my mind. Hey Mickey.” Or perhaps when you went to Disney World the 8 track in your head became forever captured by, “It’s a small world after all…” or, “In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight…” Depending on your age and music tastes, it could be something along the lines of, “We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine.” Or perhaps you wake to whistling in your head, ushering you into Mayberry. (Yes, you can growl my name and blame me if one of these tunes plays in your head when you go to lay it on your pillow tonight but please bear with me anyhow.)
It dawned on me the other day when I was playing the 60’s channel on Sirius XM on the radio, that I still remember the lyrics to dozens upon dozens of songs that I haven’t even heard in 40 plus years. I thought when the song came on whose lyrics are, “Jenny I got your number. 8765309…” How come I can remember Jenny’s number from 40 years ago but I can’t recall my own half the time?
Words and lyrics get stuck in the head even when we don’t want them to. Not just lyrics though, words. Sharp words, funny words, kind words. They all have the ability to create an indelible impression; a permanent memory. The Word is like that too. If we know Bible verses by heart then we won’t struggle so much when we need one. The Word, when memorized, comes forth at just the right time. It’s like a healing balm on a painful wound. The brain will quickly retrieve data memorized for future purposes. It will retrieve anything it needs to in order to get it thru the moment. If your brain is filled with negativity, spiteful quotes and basic garbage, then that’s what will come up in your time of need. Rather than encouragement, truth and strength, you’ll get the exact opposite. Filtering out the horrible messages filled with negativity in some music, on some TV shows and in video games is key to making sure you have room and focus to remember the really good stuff – the God stuff.
Not sure about you, but there are times I just need to know a Bible verse right here, right here, right now. Since I no longer can tap into my brain’s ability to as easily memorize things like Bible verses, phone numbers and detailed instructions, I had to try to find a new way to do things. Short of writing every little thing down…which I still do most days, I wondered if I would remember things more easily if I simply sang them. If I take some basic scriptures from any book in the Bible, like Psalms, and I find a tune that goes with them, perhaps I will remember those verses. If I choose a song whose tune easily gets stuck in my head, like “The Candy Man”, and I replace the lyrics with the ones from a Bible verse, all the better. If I’m going to get something stuck in my head, repeating it over and over again then why not make it something that’s important to my very well being? Why not make it a verse that will lead me, sustain me and remind me of who God is and what He wants from me? The Bible says, “I praise you because I was fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.” (Psalm 139) God knew you before you were born. He knitted you in the womb. Your very DNA is weaved together by the hand of God. Let us not forget that He asks us to seek Him in all things. If you can’t remember Bible verses, then you can have them at your fingertips by carrying a Bible with you or downloading a Bible App on your cell phone. You may not be able to remember scriptures word for word but you can do your best to figure out a way to keep the Word flowing thru your life. You may not remember many scriptures on their own but if you can remember the lyrics to hundreds of songs from your youth, then you can work on ways to also remember His Word.
As human beings in this day and this culture, we tend to get wrapped up in the world around us, leaving God and His Word out of it. But we don’t have to. We can put Him in every part of our day; in our reading time, our music time, our family time…and even singing in the car. We can take Him to work, take Him on vacation and keep His Word in our hearts and on our lips.
Besides, won’t it be great to get rid of “Candy man?”