Are you staying after the 11 a.m. service to listen to Julia Olynyk and the band jazz up our final hymn? If you are, you know what a crucial part of the service Julia and the band are. But last week Julia (albeit inadvertently) gave us the gift of her beautiful voice and a really sweet metaphor for a life of prayer.
She and the band were well into the jazzed up final verses of the last hymn, with a few congregation members listening and clapping along, when suddenly her words lost their usual crispness. A few seconds later it became clear she was humming, and then a few seconds after that, she turned to look at the band, a bit bewildered, still joyful, smiling quizzically but stomping her foot and swaying and humming in tune.
Either Julia got lost or the band missed a cue, but in this case the band was louder and they were all still playing together and Julia had to figure out where they were and how to get back in tune. The key point that relates all of this to prayer is that Julia didn’t stop participating. She hummed. She swayed. She turned around to try and figure out what on earth was going on, and when she did, she sang her heart out all the way to a spectacular finish.
Those of us watching gave her a rousing standing ovation. I thought, “Sweet! That’s my blog for the week.”
We’re all musicians in God’s band. Some of us are more in tune on and on the beat than others, but as we develop a prayer practice and get willing, our voices grow more harmonious. But it’s normal to lose your place. It happens. The world (and music) is complex and constantly changing, and our role and purpose will shift as other things shift. The key point is to keep listening, check in with your band, hum loud and proud, stomp your foot to stay on the beat, and when you find your place, start singing your heart out again.
Thanks, Julia. Nice job. 🙂