So, I’ve returned from a short vacation and returning to work always involves a bit of “mind focusing” – especially after doing NOTHING but sitting on a beach with a cold drink, reading. So I eventually ventured out in “Mariska” (the Buick) and headed for the office.
After returning home to my own bed at around 1am that day, my mind, eyes, and body were a bit “bleary” to say the least. I backed out of the driveway, re-acquainting myself with the car interior; my mind not being what it was 20 years ago, I had a difficult time even remembering what that big wheel in front of me was for. Once out on the road I realized that my “tunes” weren’t playing…and my mind adjusted accordingly.
I turned onto the “main drag”, avoiding a suicidal squirrel, in the middle of the road, staring at mearing me to hit him (her?)…I almost felt like aiming. Then I started the search through my music lists.
I have an old iPHONE in my car, it contains MOST of my listening playlists; everything from Bach to Billy Joel. It is magically connected to “Mariska”. I searched until I came to my playlist titled: “SOUNDTRACKS”.
Now, some of you know this, because (unfortunately for you) you’ve sat through a film with me, in the theatre. But I am a “movie-soundtrack junkie”. I love film soundtracks, have my favorite composers, and have collected soundtracks in a playlist. I thought, THAT’S what I want to listen to today. I selected and pressed play. (I DID manage to miss hitting Mr. Squirrel, I believe). Music from GLADIATOR (Hans Zimmer, composer) began. For those of you unfamiliar with the soundtrack, it is glorious and epic. An unrealistically large symphonic orchestra with what must be 20-ton kettle drums and a thousand horns. It is massive, majestic, soaring…and it reached into my soul.
Suddenly, I was no longer a middle-aged, out-of-shape man driving to work. I was a tall and strong, impervious, red-blooded male – guiding my gold-metal carriage of terror along streets that were suddenly beautiful and regal. Any stray squirrels that happened in my path would be quickly dealt with. Had I a broadsword in the passenger seat (and I HAVE before, I’m an actor) I would have put it in my left hand and held it high in the open window…all the way to the church office!
The music changed me that much.
In a way, I’m not surprised. Film scores are the “sub-text” in every film. Where there is action, music accelerates it. Where there is deep emotion, music amplifies it. Where there is deception, music names it. And where there is completion, music crowns it. And so it was with me.
And so it is with the Spirit.
I thought then, as I think now, that in MY life at least, this is much of the Spirit’s work. This Spirit; Comforter, Teacher, Counselor and Empowerer, “underscores” my life. You notice, in the pathetic scenario above, no reality changed. I WAS still driving on a Tuesday, past the ubiquitous empty and run-down homes that occupy the corners of our town. What had changed was my vision, my foresight, and my confidence. Because of my personal soundtrack, my outlook on present conditions changed. In all that ride I was transformed from sad, depressed and blue…to joyful, energized and bold!
Now, I’m a musician and that is the main language Jesus uses to speak to me – it may not be so for you. But I know the Spirit is looking to “underscore” your life and change your perspective in whatever way you would listen.
Maybe it IS music. If so, I highly recommend the soundtrack to GLADIATOR – just keep an eye on the speedometer, and don’t keep your broad-swords in the car.