On June 15, 1995, Pete Frampton played at The Filmore, a famous concert venue in San Francisco. The place was packed with fans who knew his music by heart.
Frampton saved one of his most popular songs — “Baby I Love Your Way” — for late in the show. As he strummed the opening chord on his guitar, the fans cheered, raised their arms and started swaying. By the end of the first verse, they were singing along. Frampton was delighted and held out his right hand, encouraging the crowd to take the role of lead singer. They went along with his encouragement and sang louder. He played his guitar, listened to them sing and smiled.
Isn’t that like us and God?
In a sense, life is about hearing the divine song, taking it into our hearts and making it our own. About letting the music inspire us and move us and steady us and change us and lead us. About learning the melody and the lyrics and teaching them to others. About accepting the invitation to step up and lead the song, to make the song our own.
And what a song! It touches us, inspires us, challenges us, overwhelms us at times, and makes us want to join in. It plays in our heads and in our hearts over and over again, so long as we allow it.
At times, we all get preoccupied with the other sounds around us and we let them drown out the music. Or, we’ll put our earphones in and decide to listen to our own music. We may decide we don’t want to hear any music and block our ears.
When we pay attention, we realize that it takes time to fully appreciate the music. The more we listen, the more we hear new notes, find deeper meanings and levels. We find some of the lyrics extremely challenging. Be compassionate? Forgive? Love everyone? Share everything? Take care of those who are needy and struggling? Amid everything, rejoice? Maybe we’re not so keen on those verses.
Sometimes, we’re like the older brother in the story of the prodigal son, the one who hears the party music playing and becoming indignant because he thinks the music should only play for those like him. If we’re honest, that’s us sometimes.
On many days, we just don’t feel like singing, period. But that’s perfectly OK. The Songwriter is always playing the music, holding out a hand and inviting us to join in when we‘re ready. The music never ends. Nor does the invitation.
How could it? In a sense, we’re all music at our core.
Some theoretical physicists suspect that the smallest particle in our universe — the stuff of which everything is made, including us — consists of vibrating strings of energy, akin to strings on a musical instrument. In other words, the divine song is playing inside each of us on an endless loop.
God’s music is all around us and within us. It’s part of our essence. All we have to do is listen for it. Hear it. Sing it. Live it.
What do you think about God‘s music? What is the divine song that you hear? Does each of us hear it and appreciate it a bit differently at different points in our lives? Does loving the song connect us more deeply with the Songwriter?
Some thoughts that others have about the music …
“Most people live and die with their music still unplayed. They never dare to try.” — Mary Kay Ash
“In essence, string theory describes space and time, matter and energy, gravity and light, indeed all of God’s creation … as music.” — Roy H. Williams
“You’re my song, music too magic to end, I’ll play you over and over again.” — Barry Manilow
“Sing, sing a song, let the world sing along. Sing of love there could be. Sing for you and for me.” — Karen Carpenter
“Like the north wind whistling down the sky, I’ve got a song, I’ve got a song.” — Jim Croce
“This land is your land and this land is my land, sure, but the world is run by those that never listen to music anyway.” — Bob Dylan
“Well, I’ve got a hammer and I’ve got a bell and I’ve got a song to sing all over this land. It’s the hammer of justice. It’s the bell of freedom. It’s a song about love between my brothers and my sisters all over this land.” — Peter, Paul and Mary
“Music can change the world because it can change people.” — Bono
“There’s nothing you can do that can‘t be done, nothing you can sing that can’t be sung. … It’s easy. All you need is love.“ — The Beatles