Last night I enjoyed an evening of extended music, much of it live. From blues to rock and on through to techno, there was a bit of everything! As I reflect on the evening, I find myself remembering the advice of a friend. “As much as you enjoy the music, do not get too caught up in it, it is not life. Relationships are.”
It was and is good advice. There is no chance that I am going to be caught given the demands in my life. Yet, the advice extends well beyond the music. Life is full of swirl pools that appear real, tangible, and enjoyable. For a brief moment, they might seem to be fun. I would challenge you to think of the associated memories, outcomes, and price paid by your physical being in context of the question at hand. Is this something that builds life, nurtures relationships, and strengthens one's soul? If not, then why is it in your life or mine? If one does in moderation, what are the guards that allow you to safety enjoy? Do your quiet actions, especially when nobody is looking, tell the story of the priorities you think you hold close to your heart?
It is too easy to be caught in the rush of the fun at hand. The implications can be severe. I looked at others and saw that “they arrested them and threw them in jail until morning, for by now it was late in the evening.” (Acts 4.3) I looked in the window of a closed coffee shop, and wondered where the friends and family were of the girl passed out inside. I looked at saw a young man, then a young woman unable to walk unaided on a level floor. In each case, factually or metaphorically, this could be your story or my own.
The music last night nurtured my soul. I laughed, clapped, and lost myself for a brief time, surrounded by the safety of old and new friends. People made the difference. They always do. Life is engaged relationships.
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