One of the only things we know for certain about heaven is that it will be full of sung worship. So let me just say, I picked the right profession.
These Snotty Nose, Baby Talk, Mushy Food Days have left me missing music a lot lately. Missing it so much it aches. I wouldn’t trade what I’m doing for anything because I love it so much and with it comes a peaceful awareness of faithfulness where God has me. Knowing yourself loyal is the best kind of fulfillment. But part of me is lying dormant and sometimes I get this twinge and realize just how dormant it is, and how alive it used to be.
It’s nice to be married to someone of my same profession and it’s nice to be singing once a week with an amateur chorus. Singing good, good stuff like the 2001 Son of God Mass written by James Whitbourn. I think it keeps that musician part of me just dormant instead of dead and decaying.
This morning I went in search of some piano therapy, sometimes the only kind of therapy that does me any good, and sat playing from the 1982 Lutheran Worship. What brilliant editor decided to include a section of the hymnal called “The Church Triumphant” and why don’t more hymnal committees think about this?
I, for one, think about this ALL. THE. TIME. It’s where I am right now and every fiber of me wells up with longing for it. It’s pretty much the only thing capable of conjuring up tears in me lately. It’s not so much that I want heaven, it’s that I want The Church Triumphant. I’m not in it for me, I guess, except that The Church is the only place I feel alive (Psalm 42). What I want out of heaven is not a place for ME, where everything in MY world will be just right. It’s that I want a place where The Church will be just right. Where worship will be all glorious, no muck.
Because that’s my profession, as well as my soul.
It’s ironic. Back when the musician in me was active, not dormant, I was afflicted with a nagging depression because the music was never what it should have been. Because I’d never be capable of achieving enough beauty. That was part of what made my college days less than happy and part of why I’ve felt almost relieved, and a lot more emotionally stable, since I shifted my focus to Wife-and-Mommy-ing.
My angst-ridden identity as a musician found the missing piece of its puzzle this morning. As I played “Jesus, in mercy bring us to that dear land of rest,” it dawned on me: It doesn’t matter if I never compose what I want to or have my own ego choir that can tune higher tertian sonorities so they shimmer. What’s more, that dormant part of me, the church musician, isn’t doomed to decay even if I never manage to revive it this side of Jordan as I hope to.
Because one of these days we are all going to be worshiping and it will be glorious. Then I will have my work cut out for me.