I listened to a band put a blues twists on a couple of classic Beatles songs. I had not heard the lead guitar player in several months. It was a fresh encounter with a musician that always seems to surprise me. As I let the sounds wash over and through me, I was caught off guard by how familiar yet fresh the songs were.
The experience reminded me of several truisms I easily forget.
Life goes on regardless of my agenda and schedule. Two members of the band were new, yet the core was the same. As musicians and as a group, the Blues and the Crazy Elephant were growing and changing. They were in a groove I recognized yet the music has evolved.
Good songs transcend arrangements and delivery. It is as if they carry a truth within them that cannot be hidden. When they are presented, in a wide range of contexts and forms, they continue to touch the lives of those who choose to listen.
There is a combination in music, when passion, playing, and letting the essence of the song mix that is greater than the parts. If any element of the formula is missing the outcome is less that the pieces. If all blend with each other, the experience is mystical.
I need to let the center of my life play out in harmony with the externals. When one aspect trumps another, then we are less for it.
A spiritual father documented the way this played out in his life. “God didn’t send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what he has done, collecting a following for him. And he didn’t send me to do it with a lot of fancy rhetoric of my own, lest the powerful action at the center—Christ on the Cross—be trivialized into mere words.” (1 Corinthians 1.17)
With a new day, I can let of my agenda and focus on my role – exercising freedom in the moment at hand, staying engaged in the business of living.