Friday, February 01, 2013

Music, Fire and a Moment of Respite

Last night Claire and I spent a couple of hours sitting in front of the fire and listening to music. Specifically, we listened first to highlights from the original cast recording of Phantom of the Opera (Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman, Steve Barton). Then it was an album of show tunes from Debbie Gravitte, "Defying Gravity." And we ended up with two albums by torch singer extraordinaire, Julia Rich.

We have a touch of personal history with all three -- just a touch -- but it was enough to add a little spice. We saw a wonderful production of Phantom at Her Majesty's Theater in London in 2003 (I know, name dropper!) and we enjoyed performances of the two ladies here in Omaha at the Holland Center. Julia we especially enjoyed (twice, in fact) as she was singing with the new Glenn Miller Orchestra.

There's something very nice about having this kind of relaxing, reflective moment. And when you're listening to wonderful music with someone you love (not to mention the the beauty, warmth and mysterious movement of the fire), the experience goes beyond the moment. It lasts...well, sometimes it lasts forever.

These are the high callings of romance and art, of conversation and music, of fine literature and the contemplation of nature. They remind you of the personal God Who is behind the curtains of the commonplace and secondly, of the eternal pleasures that await His adopted sons and daughters, pleasures that are but hinted at in this realm.

So, do not neglect the responsibilities that life brings your way...even when the completion of them takes courage, sacrifice and your most spirited work. But do not neglect the tender moments when God allows a sabbath, those bittersweet moments of respite that give you perspective on the past and present as well as hope for the future.