Once upon a time, a woman said to me that God would use my music to do great things.
And I believed her. Why wouldn’t I? She said something that made me feel good: God would use me, and my voice (because to me, my music and my voice were/are synonymous), and it would be terrific!
Of course, it’s not usually quite that simple, and over the years, I have forgotten and remembered this little tidbit in somewhat direct correlation to how I’m feeling as a singer. When things are going well, I remember and think, “Now? Is it time? Is he going to use me now?” and when things aren’t going so well I think, “She must’ve been wrong.” And other statements which downplay anything I have done/am doing/will do until I gradually forget about this statement.
Silly me! All these years, I have been thinking of this statement in a worldly, secular way, and I have only recently realized my misunderstanding. Now, to be fair, my very best Beloved has tried to explain it to me, but I am a stubborn thinker sometimes, and I just… didn’t get it. But now, I think I do. Not only do I understand, but my eyes have been opened to all the many ways that God has used my music to do great things.
When the woman said that God would use my music, she may well have been speaking literally of music. I have always been happiest to sing the music of the Church, whether in church or concert settings. When hearts are touched and souls are soothed through His Spirit, using my voice, this is a Great and Good Thing. It may seem a small thing in a worldly sense, but that is only because I am not thinking with a Kingdom mind-set. When God does Great Things, His aim is to bring glory to Himself and to his Kingdom. It is not to gratify me with fame and glory, which would just go to my head anyway.
I am coming to see that God uses me and my music in a metaphorical sense, too.
My music, my voice…my voice, my life.
My voice is not just the vocal apparatus, but my living and being. To borrow and twist a phrase from an old commercial, Music: the fabric of our lives. Life is a musical tapestry, a great work of art. The stuff of daily being translated into melody and harmony.
Consider for a moment that I am a little flute in God’s Great Orchestra. That His Orchestra is playing a symphony, or even a movement, of which I am a part. I see my life as my own melody, but it is lived twining in and out of the melodies of each person I come into contact with, creating harmonies unique to each day, to each relationship. Moving in and out of the texture of the piece as a whole, sometimes my line is long and sometimes short, but I am woven in with other instruments to make a beautiful sound. There are duets and trios, ensemble moments wherein my part is meshed with another’s to create a harmony so much lovelier than a solo line.
The trouble is that worldly great and Godly Great are different, and I am easily distracted by the worldly great of others – or even the evident Godly Great of others. I don’t like (please tell me I’m not the only one!) feeling that I contribute little or nothing. My part is seemingly insignificant at times. I may (and often do) think I have the worst line – “Why, Lord, do you have me buzzing around like a bee, dashing all over the staff, and then sitting quietly for so long? Surely it’s better if I play! It doesn’t make sense!” I want to see the results, or hear the results, of my efforts. I want to know that I’m doing a good job! I want to see how God is working through me! I want the proverbial recording and liner notes right now! …well, really, if I am completely honest, I want to see how awesome I am, and I want others to notice it, too. I want the solo line, and I want the other instruments to be amazed at how well I play!
My music, my being. If I am willing to pay attention and do what the Composer and Conductor intends, Great Things are accomplished. No line, no part, no melody is ever insignificant – I may not hear the result as I am busy tootling away, but He sees and hears a magnificent end result. It is all to His Glory.
*I have omitted the bits about how I make mistakes all the time, missing entrances, playing wrong notes, sometimes even having the wrong sheet music in front of me altogether! That’s blog fodder for another day.