The music of life

A couple of days ago I was sitting at the kitchen table with my youngest daughter, Celina. She was playing with her dolls, I was eating a small snack and thinking trying to wake up from one of those coma-like naps. Suddenly, we both looked up as we heard the strangest sounds coming from across the lake.

Our summer camp season had just finished up (I work — and live! — at Lake Ann Camp) and guest groups are now arriving. So the typical sounds of campers laughing, swimming and running about have been replaced with group specific sounds. For example, this week is a marching band, and so the sounds we heard at the table were of the percussion section.

Marching Band

As I listened, I heard the big bass sound of a large drum, the ratta-tat-tat of a snare and the sweet melody of timpani drums being hit. After I remembered that the band was here, I returned to my pile of cashews and blueberries. However, Celina continued to be intrigued by the musical notes drifting through the woods.

I watched as she pushed her chair back, and then stepped through the slider onto the deck. She listened to catch the direction of the sound, then walked bare-footed to the back of the house by garage. From there, she slipped into the garage for a moment, reemerged with shoes on her feet, then walked straight through the brush toward the music. She didn’t take the path below our house, that led along the lake; she didn’t take the road on the front side of the house that led to the dining hall…she went over stumps and through shrubs directly toward the music.

It was sweet. Her feet were dancing, not walking. She smiled and bobbed in rhythm, and the curious sounds made her laugh as she pushed through the brush. I watched her for a while until I couldn’t see her anymore, than I hopped out on the road and walked parallel with her until she finally saw the source of the music. She sat mesmerized for a few moments before returning home satisfied. I just smiled.

After I came back to house, I started thinking about the music. As often happens with any of us when it comes to contemplating music, we can get a little spiritual in our reflections. I wondered: is there anything in my life that would make people want to follow its sights and sounds? If my life were a band, would people come to hear it? Would people travel through the brush, would they experience an inexplainable need to be close?

Jesus’s life was a symphony that people couldn’t help but hear. When ever He showed up anywhere, people flocked to listen, to see, to touch — to encounter — Him. They wanted to be close to Jesus. Of course, not all of them liked what they heard or saw, and certainly many hated Him. But His life couldn’t be ignored.

In Mark 2 we read of one of my favorite Jesus encounters. When He showed up in town, a huge crowd came to hear the orchestra His life produced. So many people came, the house filled up, people were spilling out the doors and windows and the mob wouldn’t even let a paralyzed man in to be close to the Messiah.

But four friends couldn’t be detoured by something so small as a house, so they tore through the roof and lowered their friend on a mat so he could be in front of the Christ. Jesus’ life was so compelling, these four friends would stop at nothing until their paralyzed buddy had a chance to encounter the Jesus they knew and worshipped.

And this was the norm for Jesus. His life demanded that you witnessed it. His life called to everyone nearby. You couldn’t ignore the music His words and actions created. It was like that band playing on the deck of the camp’s dining hall — my daughter couldn’t return to playing with her dolls until she knew what was at the source of those sounds.

I wonder about my life. I don’t want to play a beautiful solo that attracts no one. I don’t want to be a part of the biggest band that draws the smallest crowd. Instead, I want to live in such a way that the Jesus I live for rings from every instrument, sounds forth from every note and is displayed in each arrangement my life plays. I want people to wander through the thicket of life to hear the sweet sounds that flow from my life. And I know that’s only possible when Christ is my conductor.

How’s the music of your life?

Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water!

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One Response to The music of life

  1. dannyray says:

    Love this story! Joe your whole family is a song that will echo throughout eternity because your song is His song and the Castaneda’s music of life is beautiful. Thank you for proclaiming your love for the King in everything you do!

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