Imagine a symphony orchestra. During a performance, the oboe player goes off on a cadenza that was not written nor instructed. A saxophone shoves a flutist out of the center stage chair, percussionists pound on anything and everything, including others instruments. A trumpet player stands on top of the conductor’s podium and plays with sheer abandonment. Sheet music has been tossed from music stands and the conductor is ignored.
What would happen if this scenario I’ve set before you happened in real life?
I would look around thinking This is complete and utter chaos! and then ask for my money back. That orchestra had music to read and play. They had guidelines to follow and a conductor to lead them. Aside from disregarding normal performance etiquette, this orchestra seems down right rude.
But is that not how we act every single day of our lives?
We, as Christians, have been given guidelines. We have been given “sheet music” to play. We have a conductor to lead us and we are constantly being watched by an audience. Guidelines? In the bible. “Sheet music”? In the bible. Conductor? The Holy Spirit inside of us. Audience? The world.
We’ve been called to a higher standard. Just as not everyone is a musician in an orchestra, not everyone is a Christian. With that being said, we cannot go up to a random person on the street and expect them to be able to read this:
and then be upset when they don’t know how to read it and cannot perform it.
And, going back to the issues of said orchestra, I believe it’s safe to say that each individual in that orchestra had an “it’s all about me” mindset. There was no harmony in the group, nor even a melody. There was no unity of happiness within the group. It’s no wonder that America is so unhappy. If everyone thinks it’s all about themselves and everyone acts that way, we run into problems. Each individual thinks that they are the melody to the sheet music of life with that attitude. And if that is so, how can anyone ever hope to have harmony? With everyone doing their own thing to benefit themselves, there is no hope for harmony to exist. Have you ever listened to a melody by itself? Just a melody-No instrumentation, no harmony, nothing but a single person playing (or singing) a melody. While it may sound nice and it may carry across a room, does it not seem to be missing something? How much louder, fuller, and more defined is a melody played or sung by multiple people and then added on to by more instrumentalists and vocalists? The difference is astounding.
Now imagine how much more effective Christians would be if we applied the same principles we learn in a musical ensemble setting to our walk with Christ.
Ephesians 1:19-22 says “19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.” -NLT
God is the center, not us.
I absolutely love Max Lucado and his book It’s Not About Me, which is what actually contributed to my previous knowledge about this topic as well as inspiration for this blog post.
Anyways…in Lucado’s book, he states “When God looks at the center of the universe, He doesn’t look at you. When heaven’s stagehand directs the spotlight towards the star of the show, I need no sunglasses-no light falls on me. Lesser orbs, that’s us. Appreciated, valued, loved dearly. But central? Essential? Pivotal? Nope, sorry. Contrary to the Ptolemy within us, the world does not revolve around us. Our comfort is not God’s priority….God does not exist to make a big deal out of us, we exist to make a big deal out of Him.”
Lucado goes even further to say “The moon models our role. She generates no light. Apart from the sun, the moon is nothing more than a pitch black, pock marked rock. But, properly positioned, the moon beams. Let her do what she was made to do and a clod of dirt becomes a source of inspiration, of even romance. The moon reflects the greater light. And she’s happy to do so! You never hear the moon complaining… …What would happen if we accepted our place as Son reflectors?”
2 Corinthians 3:18 says “18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into His glorious image.”
As Christ followers (those of us who have had the veil removed, as the verse refers to it as), we are called to reflect the Son.
So, aside from the orchestral example, there was nothing “musical” per say about this blog. However, One of the goals of musicianship class is to integrate faith and music or faith through music. and i believe there are many parallelisms that can be taught using the same principles that one learns in a musical setting and ensemble; thus integrating (to some degree) faith and music. I promise I will eventually (hopefully sooner than later) get better at writing these blogs at a shorter length, but for now…this is what you get(: