under the influence

As I sit in my study at home I can hear my son practicing on his keyboard in his bedroom (immediately above my study). I can also hear my daughter playing on a computer game in the dining room (immediately next to my study). And I am listening to some of my favourite rock music in the study.

These three do not blend together to create anything that could remotely be classed as tuneful. I think ‘dissonant’ probably does not do the sound justice. Perhaps ‘cacophony’ is the word I am looking for!

I have a few options here. I can ask my children to be quieter. I can leave. I can put some headphones on. I can turn up my music to drown them out…

musical key

This makes me wonder about different influences on me… news on the radio and TV, adverts, music, books, the internet, friends, God… too many of them at once it will at best be dissonant and at worst a cacophony.

Is it possible, I wonder, to create harmonies from these apparently discordant and incompatible influences? I guess it depends on the skill of the musician. Not me, but The Musician. He has the skill to to improvise around my life, to harmonise, to enhance and make a beautiful sound.

When I was a naive teenager (as opposed to a naive 40-something) I wrote a worship song. It was very simple lyrically and musically. In fact the music line was only a melody line. I showed it to a kind friend of mine who was a brilliant pianist and he started playing and singing. As he played he took the simple melody line and improvised around it. He added bass notes that I could not imagine. He set it to a catchy rhythm. He transformed it into something joyful and almost decent.

That is what God does with what we offer him. His Spirit harmonises, improvises, enhances and creates something that is a joyful act of worship to God.

My task is to make sure that I am not adding discordant notes to that. I need to ensure that the influences are compatible with the Musician.

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