It was the first night of my Confirmation retreat. Everyone was gathered in a single room, spread out along the walls and surrounding floor. In the middle sat a candle display that gave off a warm, calming light to the area. Each person was silently praying, or using the time to meditate. In the background, music filled the air. Though the retreat leader was speaking to us, I couldn’t focus on him; all I could hear was the music. The harmonies and melodies washed over my skin, while the beats and rhythms pulsed in my body. Within the sounds, I found God in my presence.
Music has always been an outlet for people to use when words couldn’t express their thoughts or feelings. It has been the way people pass on their cultures, stories, and beliefs since the very beginning. It has the power to convey happiness, anger, grief, and even someone’s last breath. Music is so much more than just notes on a sheet of paper; it’s another language that people can speak in. This concept is no different for me. I find that when I’m at my lowest, listening to music, or even making music, helps me to deal with my problems and be able to face them. It vocalizes what I’m feeling when I can’t do it any other way.
One thing that I have never seemed to adequately put into words is my devotion to God. I grew up believing that the only way I would ever have a true connection with Him is through prayer, through words. It scared me to think that I wouldn’t be able to have a relationship with God because I couldn’t put into words what I wanted to say. Until my retreat, it had never occurred to me that the thing I enjoy being part of the most is the way that I would reach God.
I believe that music can be used to worship God. This has been a popular belief for ages. From St. Cecilia, to Johannes Sebastian Bach, to Igor Stravinsky, people around the world have acknowledged music as a form of worship. Without this magnificent tool, I truly believe that people would lose a chance to be at one with Him.
In my heart, I know that He doesn’t care how we communicate with Him. Honestly, I think it pleases Him even more when we do it through music, or any other form of expression that we enjoy. It makes it more real, and to me, it makes absolute sense, that the talents and gifts He gave us would be the way we would show our love for Him.
Now, when I sit down with my clarinet, or when I get ready to sing a song, the anticipation creeps in. I wait for the moment when the sound courses through my soul, and then I let it soar out of me, straight into Heaven. There, I know that God waits to hear what story the music will tell Him this time.
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