“Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.” -Ronald Reagan
The band begins to play. Moments before, the sounds of their tuning and dissonant chords filled the theatre with broken parts, and sour notes as tuning slides, timpani, and valves are oiled and adjusted. But as the music begins to be played by each musician, the notes that were once discombobulated and disjointed become unified, harmonious and beautiful. The auditorium is alive. Music is ignited! The bandmaster, with baton waving erratically in the air, guides the musicians through the movement reminding them all of accidentals, dynamics, and key changes. His role is no less important than that of the musicians he stands before. Slowly and melodically the masterpiece, made up of notes on a page, reaches its climactic ending; and as the last notes are played, held out and released, there is brief moment of silence. Within that brief moment, resides all of the work, all of the practices, all of the blood sweat and tears, and just as the last notes are released so too is the passion and love that the musicians have contained for so long for this musical composition. It reaches out from the finale on stage, ever so slightly touching the listener, caressing their hearts and in turn drives them from their seats to their feet in accolades of fervor and joy. This…is music!
Music is like breathing air, one needs to keep breathing in order to survive. That is what I know about music! Music is a part of me; it is sewn into the very fabric of who I am. If one were to take out the stitching of melodies, harmonies, key changes, and accidentals; one would in some way begin to take away a very intrinsic part of who God has made this person to be. Perhaps music doesn’t resound in all of us in the same way, but let me offer you an experiment in music for just a moment. Have you ever experienced an epic moment in your life where you heard a composition of music, in any genre, that automatically pulled you back in time to another moment within your history? One solitary second you are driving down the road listening to the radio, then this very specific song comes on and Bam, you are transported back in time to a point in your life where this very song is tied ever so tightly to an emotional or physical response. Have you been there? So have I, and this is how intrinsic music is to our very heart and souls. It speaks to us beyond our hurts, beyond our joys, and calls us to take notice, to remember and to always embrace the melodies that God has placed inside of us all. These melodies are so much more than mere songs heard on the radio or in music videos on Television. They are the melodies we were created to perform in our lives, conjured up in our souls and in the very fabric of our being. God has called us to sing or play the music of our souls on the stage of this life, not only for our own amusement or enjoyment alone, but because He revels in our creativity, He celebrates with our inquisitive hearts, and He wants us to play the music that we were created to play. But the question that begs to be answered and hangs in the air like the last resounding notes on a page is this: do we know how to play the music?
Some say that we can learn as easy as riding a bike, but what if no one ever taught us to ride that bike? What if that parent wasn’t behind us pushing and cheering us on? If you have ever wondered what melody God has called you to play, then this book, these prayer thoughts are for you. If you have not wondered what tune has been placed in your heart, perhaps this is THE moment to begin exploring and plumbing the depths of your heart. Believe it or not, God has planted that seed in your life to perform the tune of your lifetime for the world to see and hear. We are called to play the music. But how do we find our tune? Do we even know how to play?
This is where it all begins…Music Orientation 101 for the soul:
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?
Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?
Please help me to gradually open my hands
and to discover that I am not what I own,
but what you want to give me.” -Heni Nouwen