I wrote this blessing for an outstanding young Christian graduate and musician friend. But it is a good challenge to all. -JB
Dear young Christian graduate,
As you graduate from high school and prepare for the chapter of your life (“adulthood”), allow me to offer this blessing and challenge. From one musician to another, we both know the power of a good song, a joyful groove, a beautiful melody. We also both know all too well the ear-piercing sound of an out of tune guitar, the awkwardness of a band playing out of sync, and the dissonance of a bad melody.
The world is filled with noise and a cacophony of millions of souls all whistling their own tune and dancing to the beat of their own drummer. It’s a moshpit world with bodies flailing recklessly and crashing against other bodies, people are getting crushed and trampled on. Its a world full of posers and comformers, all mindlessly humming the same culturally trendy beat because its trending on the charts and “everybody’s doing it.” Everyone’s consuming and few are composing and creating.
But you are different. God has created you to be an artist, to make music — music with your guitar and music with the kind of life you live. God has called you out of the noise, He’s whispering His Song in your ears, teaching you His divine melody and inviting you to join his band of disciples called to move to a different beat and live by a different soundtrack.
And you are already doing it.
The Christian life is one of being enraptured by the Father’s Song, and learning to live in sync with his Divine groove, and to invite others out of the moshpit and into the Kingdom Dance. Jesus leads the band, he has written the perfect melody and we’re all trying to learn the chords and sing His lyrics in love. No doubt sometimes you’ll feel like you’re the only one on the dance floor or alone int the spotlight with no one to accompany you. Be not afraid! You are surrounded by the 3-piece Trinity, and they never miss a beat. There’s a great crowd of angels and saints above in the heavenly realms joining in the Father’s Song and cheering you on.
I see in you a young person who is not fooled by the empty promises and seductive ploys of the Siren’s song. You have your iPod set to Christ’s Kingdom playlist and you want to learn every chord and riff by heart. The Psalmist asks, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word” (Psalm 119:9). Yes, by downloading Christ’s soundtrack and playing His song! Immerse yourselves in the Holy Scriptures to learn God’s sheet music by heart. You are well on your way and far ahead of your peers in godly wisdom.
Here’s a few practical tips if you want to go on tour in Christ’s Band:
- Take good care of your instrument! Just as you care for and protect your guitar from harmful things, care for your body and don’t expose yourself to harm. Ever notice that the guys who smash their guitars at the end of a show have also smashed their lives up as well?
- Practice makes perfect. There’s too many guitars collecting dust in cases. You have to pick up the guitar and play to get better, and likewise you need to actively practice the habits of the Christian life to grow a disciple.
- Join a band. You can only get so good playing alone in the basement. You really begin to grow and have more fun when you jam out with other musicians, and when you do life in the company of other Christians. The local church is the band God has given us to live out our Christian life.
- Expand your musical influences. Listen broadly and appreciate the wild diversity of musical styles and instruments out there. The best musicians are those who draw from all different genres, styles and influences. Don’t get stuck playing power chords and punk rock your entire life. Similarly, learn to appreciate the diversity of God’s people and the different expressions of Christian faith and belief. Don’t be afraid of exploring new styles — as long as its on God’s playlist.
- Love songs endure. Learn many of them! The Beatles were right about one thing: “All You Need Is Love.” I close with the words of the Apostle Paul who is one of the greatest Kingdom Rock Stars to ever take the earthly stage. He wrote a lot of love songs.
“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” (1 Corinthians 13:1)
“May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we’ll be a choir—not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!” (Romans 15:3 The Message)
You may also enjoy:
Article: “Download My Soundtrack” by Jeremy Berg
Series: “The Father’s Song” by Jeremy Berg