The Joy of Playing Music

Wouldn’t it be great if the daily life of a worship leader included several hours per day of playing music?  I wish it were true!  Life is full of so many tasks and chores, from the musical side—organizing set lists and charts, to the family side—doing the dishes, driving kids to school and sports events, to maintaining a home and a car, etc.  There are lots of barriers to carving out time to play, but it’s worth finding that little window of time even if we don’t feel like doing it. 

I’ve been playing guitar for close well over four decades and piano for almost as long.  I love playing music.  It inspires me to make beautiful sounds, to get lost in the tactile experience of using my hands and voice to play and sing.  It’s like a mini-vacation from the administrivia of daily life.  On cold, rainy Vancouver days, playing music makes room for a shaft of heavenly light. 

The other night, I was lying in bed, thinking, “How am I going to make it through this dreary winter weather?”  Right there I made a decision that the next morning I would get my butt out into the “shed,” a small practice room in my backyard.  It didn’t take long to get lost in the glory of God’s gift of music.  I played for over two hours and it seemed like only 30 minutes.  Yet, how many times have Iignored those windows of opportunity when they’ve appeared?  I guess I’m a slow learner. 

God made us to be sensory beings. God-breathed art ignites our love for him.  Wefeel the power and mystery of music in the deepest place of our souls.  “Let all that is within me praise the Lord!” 

Aside from the obvious spiritual benefits of playing music as worship, here arefour benefits of playing music for any human being. (From an article called 18 Benefits of Playing an Instrument, by Michael Matthews, at Effectivemusicteaching.com).

Playing a musical instrument: 

Fosters your self-expression and relieves stress.  Playing whatever you want on your instrument is a great form of therapy. 
Creates a sense of achievement.  Making beautiful music that you and others enjoy brings a great sense of satisfaction. 
Enhances your respiratory system. 
Promotes happiness in your life and those around you. 

If we count singing as "playing music," (and we should) then making music is accessible to everyone. Everyone can sing. In God's wisdom, he created music, a vehicle for touching heaven that’s accessible for everyone.  The best way to experience something is to participate, not just spectate.  Sing and play, wherever you can, whenever you can!  “Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.”  Psalm 33:2

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