A trip to the record store these days is an act of compassion.
Sure there are plenty of new releases out on vinyl. In fact vinyl records are the fastest growing sales segment in the music industry.
But most record stores fill the majority of their shelves with vintage LPs. These are the records that get traded in by people who have no use for them anymore.
Maybe they inherited a collection from their parents or grandparents and they’re just not that into music. Or maybe they’ve played the records a million times and just aren’t into the bands anymore. Or maybe they thought vinyl died out 30 years ago.
For whatever reason they don’t see any use for the old Cat Stevens or Doobie Brothers albums. They look at vinyl records as an outdated format just taking up space in their attic.
Yet when I and other collectors come in to a record store we see the value in the classic pieces of wax.
What one person traded in for some spare change I’m willing to pay $20 or $30 dollars for. As excited as one person is to get rid of their old records, I’m even more jazzed to find them and give them new life.
My favorite records I’ve purchased over the past few years aren’t the new releases from some of my favorite bands like Dawes and Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors. They’re the ones I’ve picked through in the discount bins. The ones from bands and artists I’ve never really explored before like Simon and Garfunkel and Rod Stewart that I give a new chance to since the records were cheap. The ones that blow me away with how incredible the music is.
Isn’t it odd? One person sees a collection of old records as worthless. Yet I and many others want to rescue and adopt this classic music to breathe new life into it.
Us record collectors – we aren’t doing anything new. What we’re doing is exactly what Jesus does for us.
Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. (1 Corinthians 1:26-28)
In the world’s eyes many of us are seen as unwise. Weak. Worthless. The world chews us up, spits us out and trades us in for pennies on the dollar.
Jesus takes people who have been deemed worthless and repurposes them. What the world sees as junk Jesus sees value in.
The world becomes infatuated with new and shiny things. God looks through the garbage of what the world tosses out and sees something special. He sees something He can still use.
Jesus picks us up out of the discount bin. He purchases us, dusts us off and lets us play the world our song.
This Saturday all sorts of new special releases will hit the shelves for Record Store Day, the annual celebration of all things vinyl. And I’m looking forward to picking up a few of them from Bob Dylan, Mumford & Sons, Brian Fallon, Frank Turner and more.
But I’ll also be looking through the used record bins as well. I want to encourage you to browse through the used section of your store too.
Comb through the dollar bin and find a few vintage vinyls that catch your eye. Rescue these forgotten gems and give them new life. Show some compassion on some on some discarded records.
After all, just because one person tosses something away doesn’t mean it has lost it’s value. For some of God’s greatest purchases have come from the clearance bin of life.
(To find a record store close to you and to see the full list of Record Store Day 2016 special releases click here. Leave a comment below and let me know what you picked up!)