Meditations

Sol Deo Gloria

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Life is a grand musical score. Every event, every moment, is a note upon the staff with dynamics and instructions. Combined they form a series of movements- some smooth and slow, like a lullaby on a cello; some triumphant, with a brass band blaring chords of joy. Other times, it’s a sad and lonely song, a mournful, simple tune on the piano- each key played tremulously, wearily, tearfully, until it fades to a dark close. Life is a myriad of songs that, one played after another, form your life-concerto, the soundtrack of your story.

In many (if not all) classical works, there is a motif. The motif is a short succession of notes that is repeated throughout the score to represent an idea, an object, a thought, a person, etc. Sometimes it’s played a little differently, very distinctly, and other times it’s barely noticeable. In our lives, we’ll always have at least two motifs: ours and God’s. When the melody is sweeping us away in a flurry of memories and dizzying emotions, God is always there- sometimes prominent, sometimes barely recognizable, but He’s always there.The notes spiral around us, around our little theme, each one played under the direction of a master Conductor.

Sometimes our melody wanders aimlessly, seemingly without purpose. We don’t know what to do, where to go- we drag ourselves onward, listless and disillusioned. Searching. But then, a sforzando is written on the page! Sforzando means with sudden, marked emphasis. It’s loud and startling, like a bang or a shout. It grabs your attention, jolts you into alertness, refocuses you. God has a way of bringing our minds back to Him, where they belong, and it’s usually unexpected. “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God…”

Ritardando: with gradual decrease of tempo. You have plans, ones you’ve mapped out repeatedly for years. You have dreams that bridge the gap between your childhood and the moon. Your goals are set, opportunities have arisen like so many corridors eager to be explored, and you’re racing toward them, presto, full speed ahead. Then God calls for a rit. and you are forced to slow down. “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” He says. “I know the thoughts that I think toward you.” Slow down- for everything there is a season. Wait upon the Lord.

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There are times when music must taper to a quiet volume. This is called decrescendo. Life is full of noise, both physically and mentally. Our spirits can grow so cluttered with the voices of other gods, songs of worry, of anger, of bitterness. The dissonance and chaos are deafening! But when we bring the volume down, we can listen for the “still, small voice” comforting us, instructing us, reprimanding us, calling to us.

There is so much more, but I want to finish with this: life ought to be a song of praise. Despite the dirges and laments, through the victory marches, and even in the serenades, God’s glory should be the words to our tune. The well-known composer J. S. Bach autographed all of his music with the phrase Sol Deo Gloria, “Glory to God alone.” When life is over and the song comes to an end, will we be able to sign the pages this way, in complete honesty?

“I will sing unto The Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.”
~Psalm 104:33
“…singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
~Colossians 3:16

** I would like to thank my friend Janice, for giving me the idea for this post- brilliant idea! She’s the reason this even exists! I would also like to thank my friend Stephen W. for being a huge help when I couldn’t remember the term “motif.” You’re a life saver!**

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9 thoughts on “Sol Deo Gloria

  1. Bravo….Bravissimo!!!! Very well written and I love the glimmers of your personal story knitted throughout, and I love even more how you expounded the lyrics of life to the universe of music. Well done.

  2. Beautifully written. I love the analogy. I also find some of these ‘musical’ elements in scripture. Perhaps these elements in scripture vary for everyone and at different times: a Sforzando to call attention to my sin, a motif to bring greater understanding, and the decrescendo when the understanding is there, moving me along to discover something new, studying to show myself approved.
    Really enjoying your blog.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you enjoy it. You make a good point- everyone’s song is going to be a little different, and all the nuances will differ from one personal the next. Praise The Lord that each score is performed under the same Conductor, though!

    1. Thank you, Rachael! I’m happy it was a blessing. By the way, as I wrote this, I listened to one song on repeat for over an hour- the Theme from Schindler’s List. For some reason it just spoke to me and pulled all my thoughts to the forefront. Just a random tidbit for ya. 😉

      1. Oh that’s a favorite! Haven’t listened to it in a while, though. I should pull it up on the ol’ laptop. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Lia! I’m so glad you like it! It’s a blessing to write these posts, and I hope that it is a blessing to others to read it. 🙂

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