The music of heaven

Dr. Marc Drake, Sr. Pastor, First Baptist Church of Sun Lakes

A few years ago, world-famous violinist Joshua Bell stood incognito at a Washington, D.C. Metro Station during the morning rush hour. As part of an experiment, he played a brilliant classical repertoire for 45 minutes. Now, Joshua Bell routinely fills up concert halls worldwide. In fact, only days before, an audience in Boston had paid around $100 apiece to see him perform. In the Metro Station plaza that morning, Bell was playing a Stradivarius made in 1713, reportedly worth $3.5 million dollars. But as he played, the virtuoso collected exactly $32.17 from the few passersby who stopped. Most of the 1,000-plus commuters who hurried through the station didn’t even slow down.

Perhaps we would have rushed past him as well if we had been there. After all, it would appear to be just some guy playing a violin, trying to make a dollar or two. You might say that Joshua Bell was hidden in plain sight. In a similar way, it’s quite possible for us to rush past the truth of God so powerfully expressed in the Bible as we search for other things that will, hopefully, satisfy (but, of course, never do). It’s like living in a Swiss village but staring at the wooden figurines in the window rather than lifting our eyes to the staggering beauty of the snow-capped mountains and ravines in the distance!

The reality is that our souls shrivel when we try to satisfy them on anything less than God Himself as revealed through His Son, Jesus Christ. This, undoubtedly, is what led 17th century philosopher and mathematician, Blaise Pascal, to speak of an infinite abyss in man that “can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.” Yes, we were meant to live for His glory and, thus, fulfill the very purpose of our lives.

Now, Joshua Bell may not be playing on a street corner near us anytime soon (I would love it if he did!), but we have something even better. We have the opportunity to know the Creator of this universe and hear from Him. May we pray with King David, “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water (Psalm 63:1).” In another place, David declares, “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry… He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God” (Psalm 40:1,3). Now, that’s the music of heaven! And it’s worth slowing down to hear.