Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Spirituality of Advent, Day 4, Week 1

Today's entry will be a shorter reflection on hope, continuing the theme of things that I have thought about either at or since the funeral mass on Monday.  

I had been informed several weeks ago of the possibility of being asked to play at a mass again.  I have also been asked to play at Christmas Eve mass.  These will be the only two times I have played at a mass since the confirmation mass in the first half of 2013.  

When the funeral mass was finally scheduled, it was only by chance that I had a morning I could completely clear.  And it was only by chance that I had a couple extra hours on a Sunday afternoon that I could clear to practice for the mass.  

While I have recently written that at every turn in my life when I had to make a choice about music or something else I have chosen something else (and it goes back even further than what I wrote about before as I went from an active enjoyment of singing in chorus through middle school but no music classes in high school), I forgot just how much I enjoyed playing.  It all came back to me with practice on Sunday and playing on Monday.

The experience was so powerful that it is even tempting to ask myself--how could I get back to this on a regular basis, at church or otherwise?  And not just taking lessons (although that may be interesting) but actually playing with others.  Music is so much more interesting and fulfilling for me when I play in a group.  And as I alluded to yesterday with Matthew 18:20, if that can be in the context of two or more gathering in God's name, all the better.

But I know I have to remind myself that there are only so many hours in the day.  And while I love many things, I have to focus on what is most important to be most satisfied.  So for now, I must sit on the sideline except on rare occasions.

That brings me to another day of hope.  I hope I can find a way to keep music in my life at an active participation level.  I hope that I can find balance in my life among the many things that matter.  And I hope that I am sufficiently aware of myself and those around me to know what opportunities are the right ones to take and what opportunities I should sit out.  Sort of like a serenity prayer about balancing things in life.

As a final note about music, we did not sing, I Can Only Imagine at this funeral.  The worship band has sung that many times before.  It is about the pure glory of God.  It is about being present with God.  However, doing it so many times or hearing it on the radio so many times, it can get old.  On Sunday morning, driving my 14 year old to his ice skating lesson, I heard a more "gospel-like" version that really touched my heart (I think it was sung by Tamela Mann).  This being moved by something that is a little different is another reminder of the power of music that I hope to continue to engage.  But we will see just how well I am able to (or unable to) continue to engage in this moving forward.

Again, my biggest hope is that I can continue to properly identify what is most important. 

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