Whose Note should I hold today?
I love music and song; don’t you? God often speaks to the depths of my soul through music. Like a many-splendored rainbow on a perfect autumn’s day, like the way reading a good book gives my heart wings, like the warm, reviving smiles of those who are near and dear to me, like refreshing spring showers bringing freshness and vitality to my world…. music for me is one of God's rich, glorious, breathtaking creations!
I may be old fashioned. My taste in music may not be yours. I confess I don’t always relish very modern music. Rock music’s not my favourite genre. I go for ‘musical music’ – the kind which boasts gentle melodies! I take pleasure in listening to voices in harmony. I love hearing soothing sounds in preference to loud jarring ones; bright happy tunes rather than unusual, discordant ones. So yes, I may be rather sedate and old fashioned in my taste.
But music is music – a language you and I can share even if our dialects may be a tad different? Making music’s always been for me a grand adventure. Many’s the time when music has had the ability to touch my heart as nothing else would. Many’s the occasion when I have come into God’s presence needing to feel His Hand upon me; to know His peace and His renewal. As I’ve sat still in worship; as I’ve listened and waited upon God; as I immersed myself in beautiful music – I’ve been transformed. I’ve been refreshed and revived and made whole again.
I have no doubt that you too can say the same? Yes, Music’s a common language, isn’t it?
Perhaps music will be the very special language of heaven?
When I was growing up, I enjoyed singing in the Ladies’ College choir for many years, performing joyfully in the ‘Chapel of the Hope of the world’. They were ‘good old days’. Gladsome times. Happy times. Our choir mistress was one who excelled at her job. She was a very strict disciplinarian and we were sometimes terrified of her. But she knew her music. No doubt about that. Singing in a choir she conducted was a fabulous experience.
There were a few occasions when we had to do something rather unusual. When there were particularly long notes to be held – and it was practically impossible to hold our breaths for that length of time – we were permitted to hold our breath in little groups. We practiced what’s called ‘staggered breathing’. A few of us would hold our breath at first – and a little while later – a few others would take over. And then – when they’d held it for a bit - a few others would take over. And so it went on. What a wonderful way to sing together as a choir. Breathing in this way allowed the music to continue on and on without a break.
The music was seamless – as if all of us kept singing effortlessly with no need to take a single breath as we sang. No one listening could tell. But it could not have been accomplished singly. We needed the whole choir to participate in order to do it. We needed each other. On our own – an impossible task. Collectively – not just made possible but also an enchanting melody that went on and on; blessed our listeners and glorified our Creator.
As I contemplate life today, I realise that I have a choice each day. To live for myself or to live for others. To sing a song alone – or to sing it with others. Perhaps there’s someone who is unable to hold her note and needs me to hold it for her?
Who’s note should I hold onto today?
God has created us to be a family. We are as a choir who sing together. When some of us can’t hold on to their notes – others need to take the note over till those who can’t can get their breath back.
Whose note should I hold onto today?
Sometimes, in this crazy old world, the music fades. Its sounds may even be stilled completely. But God has not left us alone. He has given other singers who take up our song, specially when our voices break; when our breath falters; when our music stops.
How do I hold onto someone else’s note?
By helping her up, when she falls down?
By praying for him, when he finds it hard to pray?
By believing on her behalf, when her faith is weak?
By empathising with him, as he goes through troubled times?
By listening to her without judgement, when her heart is broken?
By taking up his cause, when he’s too tired to go on?
By crying with her, when tears are all she’s got?
By being there for him, for as long as it takes?
As I face a new week – let me remember those whose songs need to be sung but who may find it hard to keep singing. There are some who may want me to hold their notes as they struggle through a rugged point in their journey - perhaps their music sheet has blown away in the wind? Let me take a deep breath then and hold onto their note for as long as needed - until they get their breath back. Until they find their music. Until the path widens for them. Until they are able to hold their note again.
Sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand! And someone who will sing their song back to them when they have forgotten the music.
Whose note can I sing today?