"Thanks and thanks again to Him who offers to the man whom the sorrows of life have assaulted and left naked–offers to him the fig leaf of the Word with which he can cover his wretchedness." -Søren Kierkegaard

Plato’s Music

Posted in Music, Stuff I'm Reading by matt on Sunday, February 10, 2008

From one of my textbooks:

“according to Plato, music orchestrated the entire universe. In the celestial music of the heavenly spheres, as each planet in the heavens, from the moon to Saturn, resounded with its own musical note, the order of the cosmos was established as a musical harmony.”

Uhhhh, I think that’s rad. It’s similar to the formation of Tolkien’s story as the Ainur brought Middle Earth into existence by singing to Eru. And of course Lewis totally rips him off when writing The Magician’s Nephew as Aslan sings Narnia into existence.

So my question is, “What is it about music that moves the soul and conducts the cosmos?” I’m definitely addicted to the stuff, but what makes it so powerful? Da thinks it’s the most powerful of the art forms and I think he’s right. I think God is an awesome conductor and creation is his magnum opus. I know, I know. This is all ridiculously sentimental, but it’s good to pause and recognize God through metaphor.

He wrote it, He let us play along, then we tried a different tune, but now by grace we are re-invited to perform for/with/to/through/in Him. Praise He who is worthy of our every musical effort! And may we slow down long enough to perceive His music as it is everywhere.

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Dreams

Posted in Day-To-Day by mattsw86 on Friday, February 8, 2008

I’ve recently been processing quite a few things. For starters, I have almost no clue what to do after I finish college. I loved everything before this because I just did whatever everyone else was doing, but now I actually have to dream up a dream of my own and, even scarier, live and die by that dream. It’s not my parent’s dream. In many ways it isn’t even my own. It’s a scary thought. But I do want to dream big. A repeat of the aforementioned desire: I want to do something that matters because I think Jesus is worthy. We as Christ-followers tend to dream sad little dreams that begin and end with our understanding of money and safety rather than obedience, joy, and God’s limitless value. Regardless of what we may claim, there is a direct correlation between how valuable we consider Him and how we choose to live our lives. If we see Him as being completely valuable and worthy of everything it must show in what we do. I know it’s nothing new or inspirational but I really don’t care. I don’t ever want to forget how valuable He is and what He has done.

But then there’s the other end of this little tidbit of a thought. This, of course being a question, typically comes in the form of “But doesn’t a dream have to become practical at some point?” Ya, it does. But I think it’s better to dream first and then to allow the practicalities to set in. If we’re practical first then we wouldn’t ever dream because dreaming isn’t practical to begin with. Does this make sense to anyone besides me? I mean, what did we let squash our hopes? Was it the first time we realized life is hard and would gladly beat the hell out of us at a moment’s notice? I am convinced that not guarding and encouraging our passions will result in no passion at all. Maybe that’s why loss of passion is one of my biggest fears. When we crumble to life’s difficulty we stop dreaming God-sized, God-worthy dreams; Then, once we’ve settled, we gather our other, more easy options and act as though the decision between them is excruciatingly difficult. As though we’ve been wrestling with God like crazy but still just have no idea about what to do, but all the while we’re actually just using that pathetic struggle to hide from pursuing a dream as big and intense as God Himself. God make us bold! Lewis put it well:

“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

God may we never be so pleased with be easily pleased with our service to You. You are endlessly worthy and we must endlessly be looking for deeper, more passionate ways of showing this truth.

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