Last night was one of those rare evenings in which I was blessed with a few hours to do something I rarely am able to do — listen without interruption to the beautiful music that moves my soul.
Whenever you find yourself in a time of high stress, anxiety or worry — and, if you work on Capitol Hill, trust me, you will have such times — I recommend getting away to a quiet place where you will be alone and able to listen without distraction to three compositions, plus one:
- “Wild Theme” by Mark Knopfler (from the soundtrack for the movie “Local Hero.”
- “Sally Gardens” by Phil Coulter.
- “End Credits” by the London Symphony Orchestra, James Horner and the Choristers of Westminster (from the soundtrack of the movie, “Braveheart.”)
- And just for good measure, “The Long Road,” another one from Knopfler (the world’s finest guitarist).
Why these particular four? You will notice that each is an instrumental featuring a wonderfully soothing melody beautifully set to the ear and heart by the guitar and piano, plus, with “End Credits,” a complete symphony orchestra with emphasis on the strings.
There is something about such music that quiets the soul, eases the mind and relaxes the body. Call it a form of meditation if you like, but I think it is something else entirely. Meditation is intended to empty the mind, this music restores its intended health.
That word “intended” is not used by accident. Think about it: Human beings are the only creatures who compose music, understand its emotions, and value it for its intrinsic recuperative worth.
*Now consider this: Your mind is not your brain and indeed the two cannot be one and the same. You know that the instant you realize your consciousness is entirely contained in your own mind and cannot be shared with another’s. You can describe the thoughts in your mind to another person, but you cannot merge your consciousness with theirs.
And ponder this: We are finite beings, but we somehow have the capacity to conceive something about the infinite. That is essential to our being able to “see” that something cannot come from nothing, that things with beginnings must have causes, and that design requires a designer.
Now, here’s where I am going with this: How do we explain the beauty of music, measure the miracle of consciousness, or capture the infinite with the finite without talking about God? The material world is indeed amazingly complex and fascinating, but our very capacity for fascination tells us there is a non-material reality, too.
I suggest these realities of being human are intangible but undeniable evidences given to us by God to point us to the necessity for His existence and His presence in our lives.
Think about it. And while you do, here’s Knopfler’s “Wild Theme,” which I consider quite possibly the most beautiful composition ever, other than “Amazing Grace,” which points us to when and why God became a man named Jesus:
- Editor’s note: These thoughts were inspired in great part by J. Warner Wallace’s “God’s Crime Scene,” especially Session Five on consciousness. My thanks to Dennis, Chuck, the Toms, Ward, S, Michael and Jim, a great bunch of guys from across America who are going through Wallace’s course together with me, and who especially helped me understand some of these things more clearly earlier this evening.