You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel.(Isaiah 30:29 ESV)
Today I played my flute for the first time since before my son was born. Needless to say I’m a bit rusty! I was never very good to start with and the dog still whines when I’m playing (slightly off-putting!) but at least I finally managed to muddle through one of the Bach Minuets that my daughter plays beautifully on her violin.
What is most striking to me is the joy it brings me to play music, even poorly. I have always experienced this in playing the flute, even relatively boring practise times finish with me feeling more uplifted than when I began, despite it being hard work to make fingers and brain play the notes on the page. Certainly credit needs to go to the composers who write beautiful music, it is definitely nicer to play good music than boring stuff, but it does seem to me that God has given music as a very powerful means of joy.
At its best music can elevate our minds and hearts to contemplate the glory of God and delight in praising Him. At its most corrupt it is used to debase people and elevate Satan. Anything so powerful needs to be treated with respect but is certainly a gift from God to be used for His glory.
I would like at least to practise the flute so that I can play alongside my daughter as she plays the violin. I’m full of thanks to God for prompting me to pick up my flute this evening, and am somewhat puzzled as to why it has taken me this long to do so!
Gifts I have noticed this week (#241 – #250):
241) Rain interrupting my outside work, forcing me to tidy away tools and newly cut firewood before the real deluge began.
242) Putting my agenda aside and going to bed because I am tired and need a proper sleep more than I need to cross one more item off my ‘To-do’ list. The grace to not have to try to be everything.
243) Laughing out loud at a funny movie.
244) Ephesians 5:13-14 (see why here).
245) Folding washing with my wife and best friend, chatting about children, long days, tiredness, and planning a break for us all.
246) Mild spontaneous extravagance for Valentine’s Day.
247) Work colleagues who share the load.
248) My Friday on our Tuesday, which could even be your Monday. (Yeah, I get confused too!)
249) Two-year-old son walking into the house wearing a toy bucket as a helmet.
250) Rediscovering the joy of playing the flute.