My life is messy and hard and confusing. You wouldn’t know it by looking in from the outside. I live in a nice house in a pretty part of the world. I have plenty of stuff and opportunity. I have a decent husband, assorted children and grandchildren, a cuddly cat, good health. I know I’m blessed and I’m deeply grateful. So I find it exasperating that I struggle so hard to enjoy my blessed life, as I work out what to do about my miserable marriage, parent hormonal teenagers and try to figure out how to more effectively use my fancy four-in-one office machine in my new business. I lurched into my garage today with a flat tire. A friend will likely die this week. Taxes are due. Library books are overdue. It’s snowing and the school suddenly decided to send the kids home two hours early (this, after a two-hour late start this morning) but I can’t get to the bus stop in time (12 miles away) because my tire is flat and there’s too little time to change it. Aargh!
I’m sure this sounds familiar. If it’s not a car that won’t go, it’s a lost pet, or a messed-up credit report, or sassy kids, or PMS. And those are the good days. The bad days are when your mom dies, or you lose your job, or your house, or your marriage, or the doctor says you have cancer. And despite the acknowledged fact that all our days, “good” and “bad”, include little nods from God that we are not alone, that we can handle anything life throws at us, it’s still dang messy and hard and confusing.
So I sing. Any little comment may remind me of a song, which then of course begs for voice. It drives my kids nuts, and I get a lot of eye-rolling and “M-o-o-o-o-m!” But I don’t know anything that will lift or calm or energize my spirit faster than music. So I just keep singing.
When I moved back to Portland five years ago, I went to hear the Portland Mormon Choir and Orchestra perform their Christmas concert. I was so inspired that I auditioned the next week and have been singing with them ever since. Newly named the Portland Ensign Choir and Orchestra, we’re the mini MoTab of the Pacific Northwest. No matter what craziness affects my week, every Tuesday night I gather with 130 friends to sing. I sing out all my blues, raise my voice to heaven in praise, work to improve my small talent, unite with others to sing our love to Christ. It’s all for Jesus, whether it’s a song from a Disney musical, a Ukrainian Christmas carol, or Robert Cundick’s great oratorio, The Redeemer, which we performed last week. It’s all for Jesus, even at basketball games, like this one, where we are singing the national anthem at a recent Portland Trailblazers game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ef60qDwmYWc
I make music because it attunes my soul to the Universal Song. I sing to know joy. I sing in the shower, I sing in the car. I’ll sing in your ear, or sing from afar. (I’ll sing with Seuss, with a moose or a goose.) I sing to know God, the master musician.
You see how that works? You thought this would be a downer blogpost, and here we are at the end of it – all happy and singing!
What do you do to de-stress?