If you know anything about me, you know that music continues to be a major part of my existence on this little rock. It can express more in 3.5 minutes than many evangelists I know. It can elevate, inspire, energize, …or bring tears. I don’t subscribe to the idea of ‘christian’ music vs. ‘secular’ music, because most people, IMO, really mean ‘christian lyrics’ when they have that conversation (i.e. does the song actually say ‘Jesus’? Or is he singing about a girl? And to me, that’s a little….stupid. But that’s for another converstation if you want it.)
But how many times have I been involved in leading worship and the music was just awful? How many times have I played somewhere and felt like I completely bombed…only to have someone genuinely say they were really touched? I’ve even seen the great EJ perform several times, the first of which he admittedly had a ‘very off night’….but his off night changed the way I approach my guitar playing.
Several of us in By Design have commented that when we blow it musically, people still connect with God through the Spirit. I can feel horrible about the musicianship of a worship experience, yet our students and adults still connect with the Living God. Does that give me license to slack off? No way. Do I settle for mediocrity? No way.
"Maybe what the audience really hears is what the music is triggering inside of them, as opposed to what’s actually happening on tape or onstage. The music is a catalyst for the internal music that each person experiences, as opposed to sitting back and taking in all the notes…"
I think ‘Ol Satch is on to something there. While we do, in fact, take in notes, lyrics, rythm, meter, etc. as it’s presented, music is the emotive catalyst to our internal rhythms. It connects. It speaks. It moves. It stirs the pot. And what I feel and experience goes much deeper than what I hear. Experience is in no way limited to my five external senses, but also must include the sum total of my perception–everything from my family experiences to personal struggles to the simple fact that I skipped lunch. It’s much more holistic than that.
The beauty is that the Spirit uses all of those things to connect me to something huge. Tangible yet intangible. Vast yet intimate. Universal but Unique. It’s what helps me ‘see through the glass darkly’. Can anyone else relate?