We knew as kids that once you got in the car to go somewhere you turned on the radio…. and no matter what came on, we always knew there was only two kinds of songs. There’s going somewhere songs & coming home songs. We could count on Rod Stewart to sing a good song to leave to and Elton John was always good for the perfect tune to come home to. Sometimes we would just jump in the car and go. Go to the beach or go to the park or the pool or on a picnic. We didn’t go far but we always left to a good song. Luckily there were always plenty of good songs to choose from; at least that’s what we thought at the time. Mama liked going and loved going somewhere songs. We were always in search of a good one to leave to and looking back it was more like running away music! We were always running from a dirty house or bills on the table a nosey neighbor or just because. Sometimes we would jump in the truck with daddy when mama was in a bad mood. He would say “hey girls want to ride to the store with ya daddy to get a coca cola? Your mama’s as ill as a sore tailed cat”. That was the perfect time for a Grand Ole Opry kind of leaving song. Or if daddy was tired and in bad “spirits” we would tiptoe thru the house to get out for a while so the house could get quiet and he could drift into a well deserved couch nap”. Come to think of it, seems like there was a Meatloaf song for that one.
Sometimes we just went… to go…… go somewhere for a change of scenery. I remember being small and us asking my mama, with every song that came on the radio, if this is “goin” or “comin” song? Many times she had to listen for a minute before she could truly decide.
We always knew that John Cougar Mellencamp was a good for either coming or going. He is talented like that. And every country station we could count to play a good one to leave by. Even now my own boys know there are certain songs to listen for when you get in the car. It’s funny but they can tell the difference between the two. And they are always pointing them out.
My favorite will forever be the going home songs. I look back and picture those times when we were young and the songs that were playing loud in the background. The music sounds kind of muffled through the busted speakers of life. We all have one, it’s a soundtrack and you know every tune and can remember where you were at that particular time and what was going on specific days. I remember both running away and running back home. “Going home” music comes on and you know it’s time. It’s time to turn around and face the real music. It’s time deal with whatever you’ve been running from or whatever you left behind. I know now that driving away from something helps clear your head sometimes. But sooner or later you have to turn around, no matter what song is playing on the radio.
But let me say this . . . .
Some of the most powerful music I didn’t hear in the car. But it did make me want to go somewhere, but not just anywhere. I know the songs that call us to come. Come to Him and surrender it all. The music is beautiful and message is simple. I remember that I couldn’t get down that isle quick enough. When I finally laid it all at the foot of the cross, I knew that I was at the destination He had planned all along. I know now I’m closer to home than I’ve ever been before and I know the song that plays in my head had always played in my heart, I just didn’t know it. It’s a song of love, grace and forgiveness. It’s a song of kindness, gentleness and forgiveness. It’s a song of sacrifice, mercy and forgiveness. If this song had a color it would be red. Red as the blood poured out for me. The real coming home songs are the ones that bring you to tears and to your knees. All it took was a broken heart and a simple prayer for me to stop running and finally start living.
The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
Susan Q. Bailey