Sunday, July 10, 2016

Keeping Time

July 10, 2016

It's no secret that I love music. What comes as a surprise to some is that except for classical, big band, or what I call "lounge jazz," I rarely listen to it on the radio. Linda's cousin Ed loves football, but hates to watch it. He wants to be out on the field playing, which is a bit difficult at this stage in his life. I'm that way with music. Usually, I'd rather play it than listen to it. Mind you, I'm not very good at playing it, but I'd still rather be in the band than listening to it.

Music is all about time. One has to keep time with the conductor or the rest of the band, or everything descends into chaos. Time is what keeps the band together, what keeps the music flowing. Scripturally, this corresponds to "chronos," the chronological time characterized by the regular beat of the metronome. In a jazz, country, or rock band, it is the job of the drum and the bass to keep that time so the band "sticks." Most of life consists of chronos time, the relentless beat of one hour after another, one day after another. Repeatedly, the Bible tells us that we cannot live successfully if we are always out of sync with others. We are commanded to live in harmony with one another (another musical term, by the way). Musically and in life, chronos is all about staying in time with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

There is a second word for time that is essential for music, and that word is "kairos," the "opportune," or "just at the right moment" time. Musically, that's when you've been silent for a number of measures, but the score indicates an entrance for whatever instrument you play. The conductor points at you, and you come in right on time. However much the rest of the band is together, if you miss your cue, or if your entrance is hesitant, it just doesn't sound right.

I love music; I'm grateful for the way it teaches me about life and even about my faith. I will go to sleep tonight thinking about keeping the beat, staying in rhythm, and about making sure I am watching the Conductor so when the score indicates it's my turn to play, I don't miss the cue.

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