The battery was near dead this morning. The thin red line warned me that I had but seconds to chose a song from my iPod. Playlists was highlighted; I clicked. 25 Most Played songs was highlighted; I clicked. Music began, and at best I expected hear a few selections.
Our Most Played songs are defining songs. As far as favorites go, I tend to binge. Any new album becomes an exclusive. Old things pass away. This, of course, is a terrible ministry philosophy. New college students at the church receive more attention than older college students. New families get the warmest greetings; older families get sweaty, post-sermon palms. Then new families leave for bigger churches. Then new college students graduate. And the faithful disciples stick around, felling a touch less attractive and desirable.
But I'm talking about MP3s, which certainly don't get their feeling hurt when their play time suffers. More specifically, I'm talking about the 25 Most Played songs in my digital database, which reflect a thing or two about my musical preferences and emotional disposition.
So there I was jogging in the dark with no guarantee of musical accompaniment for the duration of my workout. Sigur Ros started me out. They have a song about Hopping in Puddles (Hoppipolla) and another about the Glowing Sun (Glosoli).They sing in Icelandic, so I don't know what they're saying, but they make me want to march in a parade with Dr. Suess characters and the Main Street cohort.
I was afforded these two songs. Then a third started: It was Enya, singing about trees and dreams and a Wild Child. She made my muscles cramp. I came close to stopping. Worse yet, I feared any manipulation of buttons on my iPod would simultaneously cue the backlight and kill the battery.
So I endured. The Enya song must have mistakenly crept onto my 25 Most Played list. Surely she would be succeeded by Chris Tomlin, Weezer, Bob Dylan, or another Sigur Ros song.
But she was not. She was succeeded by herself. Three times over. For the last twenty minutes of my run I was subject to the hypnotic melodies of Enya. She hijacked my playlist, but I could not bring myself to turn her off.
Enya is like all addictions: she creeps up, embeds herself, and drains our battery life as we run.