When was the last time you consumed a piece of music? I mean really took it into your ears and let it soak into your soul – no distracting videos, not while you were driving, or even singing the words to a worship song from the screen. Our auditory senses are often underestimated as compared to sight and touch, but it might surprise you when I make the claim that it could be the conduit to creating the most bold connections in our lives.
I was recently introduced to a magnificent violinist, Kerenza Peacock. If you know of her work then you are gigantic violin fanatic, a wonk for all things Adele, or an avid listener of the Robcast. She interspersed musical selections throughout the podcast interview, playing Bach, Mozart, and Shubert. It was during her rendition of Shubert’s Ave Maria that I truly connected with a composer that has been dead for almost 200 years and a musician that was playing 3,000 miles away!
In the depths of her notes my heart conjured the intense agony of a woman that just watched her son being murdered but at the same time, with every beat of my heart, the eternal assurance that our Messiah lives forever. I realize that is not what the lyrics are about, but it was the message I received, at the moment, loud and clear from Kerenza’s violin. Another great example of music connecting with your soul is the melancholic fiddles and banjos that accompanied Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary. Anytime I hear that score or anything similar, it transports me to the tents of the soldiers at Gettysburg or the blood-stained fields around Shiloh Church.
Scientists now tell us that this connection with music and sound is a quantitative physical phenomenon that occurs at the deepest levels of our cellular matter. Twenty years ago my friend, Len Sweet, preached a sermon on the quantum mechanics of the energy generated by all matter at the super, subatomic particle level. These particles create energy through vibration that generates waves of sound. Just like a symphony, when these sound waves connect with other sound waves they combine to create a harmony.
So, the billions and billions of tiny particles that make up the millions of small cells that make up us can literally connect us with other people that have a similar, harmonizing energy. Have you ever wondered why you sometimes immediately hit it off with a new friend or conversely, a new acquaintance “rubs you the wrong way” and you are not sure why either happens, but it does?
Now, let’s look at this subatomic song as part of an infinite universal symphony of sound and energy. I am of the opinion that there is an energy throughout our universe that scientists can’t find the source, but I believe is God. This God energy generates a wave of sound that connects all the other infinitesimally tiny particles everywhere together that make up the human body, all other living things, and even inanimate objects. So, in my humble opinion, human beings are already hard-wired to be in relationship with God and Creation, but we have to choose to harmonize our lives to stay in symphony with God.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Now, I know what you are thinking, “Mark must have stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night!” I did not, nor am I educated in the five branches of physics. I am not even musically inclined! But, every time I hear music that resonates with my soul and touches me deeper than I could ever imagine, I am reminded of my connection to the reverberating symphony of God and Creation. My goal in life is not to prove the existence of God by finding the particle deep in our cellular makeup that explains our Creator, but my job is to harmonize with the God energy that surrounds us everywhere.
I work with a lot of churches that are trying to figure out how to connect with more people. If our subatomic sound waves help determine our harmony or discordance with all the matter around us, then suffice it to say if we are “in tune” with the Creation energy or God energy then we have an opportunity to match waves with more of the people around us. I am not suggesting a playlist for worship or a particular style; what I am suggesting is that we have to help our people become congruent with God.
How do we do that you ask? Prayer, and I mean emptying your mind and tuning out the world prayer and not a quickie in the car on the way to the next appointment. It’s about pushing so far into the silence of your mind that you are riding the waves of energy that speak to your deepest intellect. And, it’s taking time to allow music to wash over your heart and touch the innermost parts of your soul. Then listen so intently until you hear that still, small voice buried deep in the vibrations of the notes in the music
So I leave you with these questions to ponder, or not.
- What is the music of your soul?
- Does your harmony connect you to God’s symphony?
- Which chords connect your song to the songs of the people around you?
Think about that the next time a certain musical number causes you to close your eyes and exhale so deeply that you don’t know where you are for the moment. My guess is you will find God in that breath! Keep breathing God in!!!!