The Peace of Music

One of my favorite places to have time with the Lord is alone in my car. There is something about driving that sets the perfect scene to open my heart to God. Having the freedom to sing off key or pray out loud with only God to hear me gives me a sense of calm. Having a set amount of time where I can’t be on my phone, working or doing anything but driving creates a unique space that facilitates wonderful communication with the Lord. Obviously not every drive is peaceful and spiritually uplifting. There may be traffic, times when I don’t know where I am going, distractions or bad weather but, when everything goes as planned it can be truly magical.

One drive in particular always comes to mind when I consider this aspect of my relationship with God. I was driving from my apartment on the Southside of Chicago to my friend’s house on the north side. I had taken this drive countless times and it was one of my favorites. At one point the highway turns and opens up to a gorgeous view of Chicago’s most breathtaking buildings. I always appreciated a little bit of traffic at this point, because it gave me time to take in the beauty of the city that I love. On that particular day, I was listening to a classical violin and orchestra playlist. I normally listen to music I can sing or dance along to in the car but at that season in my life I was listening to classical music almost constantly. I had just graduated from college and wasn’t sure what I was going to do next. Classical music gave me an extra push to think and pray during my drive times rather than escape my troubling thoughts by distracting myself with music to sing along to. As I drove, Scottish Fantasy Op. 46: I by Max Bruch  played. This was a piece I was not particularly familiar with but thoroughly enjoyed. As it played I was overcome with an inexpiable sense of peace. The combination of a cloudless day, the views of Chicago and a simply beautiful piece of music created an atmosphere of peace and calm. I thought this is what heaven must be like, being at complete peace in the face of beauty. For the rest of my drive I marveled at the beauty of the Lord and celebrated my lifted spirits.

As I wrote this I played that same piece and was again reminded of the simple gift of music. Music can exude joy or pain and bring peace or sorrow. Music can express emotions that can’t be expressed by words. Every time I am moved by a particular piece of music, I take a moment to thank God for the gift of music and that humanity has the ability to create and appreciate music, an ability that is not necessary to survival, but is vital to the health of our souls. I am thankful for the gift that God gave me on that quiet drive through Chicago, the gift of peace that truly surpasses all understanding.

And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7 ESV

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