After a song from Matt Redman’s 10 000 Reasons the other day, Simon piped up, “Mommy, who’s ‘Marcel’?”
It took me a minute to register what he was talking about -- so often, the boys seem into their own fantasy world, and they sometimes forget that as I am focusing on my driving, I am not right there with them, so they have to explain what they are thinking about!!
Then I realised he was hearing the words "Bless the Lord, my soul" on the iPod as "Bless the Lord, Marcel"!
As an auditory learner myself, music has always been and continues to be a key facet of my relationship with God, and with His word. From the peaceful praise and joyful worship of Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus and the traditional South African Siyahamba, both of which I had sung the alto part to in various choirs and vocal groups long before I became a conscious believer, to the songs of Keith Green and John Michael Talbot, who carried me through my early days as a new Christian, thirsty for the word of God, to the Cantatas of Bach and other baroque composers whose music I found a renewed interest in once I had a better understanding of their meaning, music, MUSIC plays an integral part in my worship life.
As well as inspiring joyful praise, music offers space for contemplation and reflection. And for me, music can also be a major distraction from God; witness the joyful musician who sings off-key, or the choir that hasn't quite mastered that tricky rhythm -- my focus moves inevitably away from God and comes to obsess solely on the "mistakes" in the music!!! It's a blessing and curse, this auditory business....
Distraction from my intended purpose at church is not the only challenge: Try writing a blog post while listening to the conversations of 73 people returning from lunch to the sessions, passing right by the table where one is blogging, lol! But being so clearly auditory as a learner is also an opportunity; the opportunity for intentional sound is all around us, and an hour in the car provides a blank canvass on which to paint new learning, music, ideas...
After Simon's question yesterday, about Marcel (which actually turned into a lovely conversation about faith and personal vs corporate worship), I am reminded that as parents, too, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to carefully consider what we fill the silent spaces of our children's lives with, and why.