Today’s Pondering~Mellow


Yesterday I created a new playlist on my Spotify. It’s a little-known fact that I have an extremely strange collection of playlists on my phone. I like to pick out common themes in the music I listen to, and this particular playlist came to me after I recalled some lyrics to an old Rita Coolidge song. For some reason I was hearing the song, “We’re All Alone,” in my head. I hadn’t heard it in many years, but the lyrics were clearly calling to me and so, I had to find the song and listen to it again. Which prompted me to add several other laidback tunes from the 70’s and 80’s such as Do That to Me One More Time by the Captain & Tennille, When I Need You by Leo Sayer, and several of my favorites from Crystal Gayle. This one is a doozy. A little ABBA, some James Taylor, Olivia Newton-John, Juice Newton, and the Carpenters. I’m not sure it could get any more mellow than this.

Many of these songs hadn’t crossed my mind in decades, but I immediately remembered how life was when I first heard them, and it made me happy for a bit. I’ve always associated music with important life events because in some way and for some reason, music always played a huge part in how I coped with various traumatic situations. It was there to ground me and keep me from falling too far into the deep pit that had been dug for me. Music pulled me up out of the depths and restored my soul when I wasn’t sure I even had one to restore. And having grown up in a time when there was no such thing as streaming, the immediate availability of old songs like these is comforting. Knowing that they haven’t disappeared altogether and that I can go back and hear the words in which I found so much healing and peace is a true gift.

One of these days, I’ll finish the book I started writing years ago about the impact music has had on my life. I haven’t even scratched the surface here, but there so many artists and songs that gave me strength and hope throughout the days, months, and years when I had no hope or strength. I want to acknowledge them. And one day I will. But for today, I’ll stick to the significance of my newest playlist, titled, “It Was All Mellow.”

As we struggle through the problems we face today, it would appear that things will never be simple again. The best things are hardly recognizable, if they remain at all. I’ve often wondered if all of these “advances” were the product of years and years of the powers-that-be covering up lie after lie until they could no longer remember the original truth. The product of all of that dishonesty is a very ugly lack of a solid foundation and a society that is built on nothing but empty promises and angry assertions that the worst is to be accepted without question and the best would be an affront to the status quo. For those who grew up thinking that we should always strive to be the best person we could be, today’s ideologies have turned that instruction inside out and caused us to question just what the hell has happened to our world.

When did it all begin? Things seemed at least somewhat normal when I was growing up in the early seventies. Granted, there were some strange characters emerging and from what I’m told, the mood was shifting from one of extreme conservativism to one of free love, hearts, and flowers. I was born in ’72, so much of what was going on around me was a mystery in terms of politics and world events. But I did feel safe in my neighborhood and overall, things were cool. I could walk to school without fear of being kidnapped and trafficked. I wasn’t subjected to a constant barrage of sexually charged advertising any time I watched the three channels we had available on our television. Mom still cooked meals on our gas stove and we enjoyed getting together with family whenever possible. Today, it’s hard to believe that such a time even existed. If it weren’t for the existence of the music of the day, I would have trouble believing it myself.

Today, much of the family that I loved and enjoyed time with is either gone or out of reach. As if it weren’t bad enough to lose people as a matter of course, this cruel joke labeled as a pandemic that was played on our world in the name of science (more like power and greed) kept many from being able to spend much needed time with their loved ones. It placed even more distance (this time physically) between those who were already separated by circumstance or long-standing rifts created by money, politics, religion, or other constructs. And nothing seems quite as simple as it used to be.

The ability to hear the “soundtrack” of a simpler time gives me some hope that maybe, just maybe one day we’ll be able to get back to what’s important in this world. Maybe we’ll drop all of the labels and excuses for not doing our best. Maybe we’ll let go of all of the societal crutches we’ve become accustomed to. Maybe we’ll get back into the habit of thinking about God first and having a healthy fear of going against what He tells us in His word. Maybe.

It sometimes seems unlikely because even our ministry efforts of late seem to have fallen victim to huge egos and greed. If you can’t trust your religious leaders to deliver the truth, then who can you trust. Didn’t they used to be a fairly reliable source of truth? Wasn’t there a time when we could trust our pastors and evangelists to tell us what God actually said rather than sugarcoating His word with political correctness and the script required to receive government funding or some other special treatment?

Unfortunately, there are many shepherds out there who are leading their flocks right into the hands of the wolves. By teaching messages of tolerance that spit in the face of our God, they are doing a disservice to those who have entrusted them with their very souls. Will we ever be able to genuinely connect to Him again? Will we be able to teach our children how important God is in such a God-less society? When the focus of our church services are sports outcomes, political rivalries, and compliance with tyrannical rules, how can we do anything but walk away…no run away in search of the God we know will protect us? There is nothing wrong with leaving a church that isn’t spiritually sound. There is absolutely nothing wrong with calling out those who are not following God’s word. If your motive is not to tear them down, but to lift them up, such correction is necessary and indeed symbolic of a simpler love of our fellow man. But you must be sure that your motive is exactly that…to lift them up and help them to reach the truth when it is decidedly out of reach.

Back then, you could say these things to people without worrying about being censored or cancelled. You could have an opinion about things without being called a racist or fascist or whatever it is that they’re calling people these days. You didn’t have to accept things that you knew weren’t right in order to get along with a mass of people who feel completely justified in breaking the Lord’s commandments. Back then, people remembered that God was our creator and that without Him we’re basically nothing. People weren’t afraid to stand up to immorality and call out sickos who tried to harm children. They understood that we had a responsibility to do what was right in God’s eyes above all else.

Today, it may seem hopeless when you see all of the ridiculous things going on around you. But God is still with us. He is still within our reach. And if we’ve been disconnected from Him, it’s as easy as reaching out to Him and asking for His help. As the Leo Sayer song says (though I don’t think he was referring to God at the time),

“When I need you, I just close my eyes and I’m with you.
All that I so want to give you, it’s only a heartbeat away.
When I need love, I hold out my hands and I touch love.
I never knew there was so much love. Keeping me warm night and day.”

When I Need You by Leo Sayer

It’s on my playlist and I’m happy to share the link if you need a little time to mellow out. Otherwise, I’ll be praying for each and every person out there. Praying that one day things will feel normal again and we can start listening to something a little more upbeat.

Rebecca Benston is the owner of Higher Ground Books & Media and the author of over twenty titles currently available through Amazon and other outlets. Her books include a mystery series (The Rona Shively Stories), empowerment resources such as Wise Up to Rise Up, Don’t Be Stupid (And I Mean That in the Nicest Way), and From Judgment to Jubilee, children’s books including Grumble D. Grumble Learns to Smile, All the Scary Things, and See How Strong You Are. Benston lives in Springfield, Ohio with her awesome daughter, Mya and enjoys traveling, reading, writing, and telling it like it is. She enjoys being able to help other authors get their stories out there through Higher Ground and has recently expanded her freelance services to offer more extensive guidance as a writing coach and social media manager. For more information, you can contact Benston at highergroundbooksandmedia@gmail.com.

Need some help getting your thoughts down on paper? HGBM Services is now offering a new coaching program called Write & Heal. In one session or more, you can write your way to a healthier, more empowered perspective.

Writing is therapeutic and can be a wonderful tool for healing from trauma and abuse. Get in touch today for rates and to schedule your first session.

Contact Us

DISCLAIMER: We are not licensed therapists and Write & Heal sessions are not considered to be formal medical or mental health treatment. This is a coaching program focused on using writing as a therapeutic tool. It is a program meant for personal growth and empowerment.

answers beliefs Bible church connections conservative country empowerment entertainment faith family fear friends loss love music Uncategorized

ronashively View All →

My name is Rebecca Benston. I’m a Christian. I’m a woman. I’m a mother. I’m a writer. I’m a thinker. When I write fiction, I am usually writing a mystery series called The Rona Shively Stories. My P.I. character, Rona Shively is feisty, fearless and fabulous and is usually caught up in something she doesn’t want to be caught up in. In addition to this series, I also have a blog called Higher Ground for Life. Through this blog, I’m hoping to reach women or anyone who is seeking to develop a relationship with God and give them inspiration to get out there and follow His path for their lives!
I also have a blog called Leading the Follower. This one is my favorite. I write about religion, faith, spirituality and all that goes along with it. What we believe, what we don’t believe, what we are told to believe and how society feels about believing in general. I do a lot of testifying here and some of what I say may make you angry. Most of it will make you think. Some of it will make you cry. Any of it could make you laugh. It’s really up to you.

If you are looking for practical advice, honest conversation, and no nonsense observations about living in today’s world, check out my blogs at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com and http://www.ronashively.wordpress.com and http://www.highergroundforlife.wordpress.com and http://www.leadingthefollower.wordpress.com. And if you’re so inclined, you can purchase my books and some other great, inspirational works from Higher Ground Books & Media at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com.

Be blessed!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: