HOW TO EASILY TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE INTO A SYMPHONY OF ABUNDANCE
Composer Claude Debussy said, “Music is the space between the notes.” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart expanded the Debussy quote to, “The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.” The idea they were both expressing is that to be appreciated anywhere near its highest form, beauty must be contrasted with emptiness. Even the world’s greatest pianist playing the most amazing symphony would produce nothing but cacophonous noise, if all the notes were played together. Arrange those same sounds with off notes, rests, syncopation, and silence; however, and what results is breathtakingly-beautiful music.
The space between notes allows them to resonate, reverberate, and reach their full measure of expression. Without this space – these rest periods – cacophony is assured. This same principle governs everything in Life: we tend to not appreciate the greatest things until they are taken away, or at least juxtaposed with something much less. Likewise, too much work without rest will wear us down, suppress our creativity, kill our joy, and create discordant, untidy, and frenzied lives. This is true even if we are working at something that benefits others, is worthy of our time and effort, and would otherwise produce abundance in our Lives. By inserting regular intervals of rest, though, we allow both the ‘notes’ and the ‘rest periods’ to become beautiful, harmonious, and productive.
Think of each minute you live as a note in the grand symphony of your life. When your life symphony is composed, you don’t want a score that jams in as many notes as possible. That only produces a discordant, jumbled mess. We desire our Life to be beautiful melodic symphony. We need only two things to make our Life music rather than noise: a composer who carefully chooses just enough notes to make a pleasurable and abundant melody, and our playing those notes and rests as composed.
The great symphonies such as Beethoven’s Ninth, Mozart’s Forty-First, or Rachmaninov’s Second are all breath-taking. Yet, none rival The Greatest Composer’s Fourth. While we have lost much of its melodic beauty by saddling it with the moniker “commandment,” God’s Fourth is every bit as breathtakingly beautiful when we play it as written for us. God composed the Sabbath symphony with the principles we have been discussing. The Greatest Composer did not want us to jam as much into every single measure of each day and burn out. He didn’t desire us to take on more duties than our schedules allow, and more worries than we can Handel. (apologies for the lame pun)
God’s Fourth guides us with a score that exercises musical self-discipline. He composed His Fourth Symphony not to burden us, but rather to make our lives melodic and meaningful. The Great Composer’s score asks us to play the Symphony of our Life by taking one day in every seven to rest, to help someone in need, to take a stroll in nature, to express our gratitude for all that is good, and to strengthen our closest relationships.
When we follow God’s score and reduce the background noise, chatter, and clutter from our lives for one day each week, we find that everything that has become routine and mundane – job, friends, hobbies, our commute, our routines, even our chores — all again regain their vibrant musical quality. The common-place is transformed by the Rest of the Sabbath into an extraordinary symphony.
Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27
God did not create us because He needed people to follow His rules. Humans were created first and God instituted the Symphony of the Sabbath so that humans could live melodic lives of harmony and beauty. Isn’t it time we returned to the wonderment and carefree life of children? Do you not yearn to go Bach to a simpler time when everything in Life was much easier to Handle? (two apologies…)
Rather than feeling our lives are “owed to jobs,” or “owed to our to-do lists,” or “owed to our credit cards,” isn’t it time we spend one day in seven resting, recharging, and returning to a life “Ode to Joy”?
To the Rest of your life,