Friday, January 25, 2008

Rest

Myrrh, aloes, and cassia perfume your robes. In ivory palaces the music of strings entertains you. Psalm 45: 8

"There is no music in a rest, but there is the making of music in it." In our whole life-melody the music is broken off here and there by "rests," and we foolishly think we have come to the end of the tune. God sends a time of forced leisure, sickness, disappointed plans, frustrated efforts, and makes a sudden pause in the choral hymn of our lives; and we lament that our voices must be silent, and our part missing in the music which ever goes up to the ear of the Creator. How does the musician read the "rest?" See him beat the time with unvarying count, and catch up the next note true and steady, as if no breaking place had come between."
~ January 22, Streams in the Desert

The Warrior King is back in the palace. For the time being the smell of sweat and dust and the sounds of battle are replaced with the scent of perfume and the resonance of music. Wild and ferocious scenes of men fighting for a cause -- for their king -- for their lives -- for the lives of others -- are gone. Now the king is surrounded by ivory pillars and a more civilized world.

Is he at rest?

Yes.

Is he restless?

Probably.

In the melody of a soldier's life there is the need for rest and recuperation and rejuvenation. The discordant refrains of warfare bruise him, drain him, and sometimes demoralize him. Yet men of war are not at ease in prolonged periods of rest. To remain fresh and battle-ready they will accept a breather, but inside they churn. The ivory pillars soon become prison bars. Destiny pulls them toward noble conflict. They fight for a cause -- for their King -- for their lives -- and for the lives of others.

In the background are the poets and scribes who compose the battle anthems and chronicle the unfolding epic. Appreciation and inspiration flow from their hearts -- to the pen -- to the paper -- to the ones laying it all on the line. Their place in the story should never be discounted.

Chancing the charge of being arrogant, for me the "rests" are a difficult time. My heart is not proud; I am submitted to the Divine composer, there is the making of music in His "rests." During the journey my spirit needs a breather, a sabbatical, and a time to sort things out. I need to decompress from the burdensome and discordant sound of "taps," or the "funeral dirge" that mourns another spiritual casualty. But being forced to lay down the sword because of sickness, disappointed plans, and frustrated efforts has surely brought with it the grief of knowing my part in the battle hymn is missing.

I love my King!

I know my King loves me. I am not foolish; the song has not ended. True and steady, I will beat out the time, and I will reenter the score with the right note at the right time. The breaking place will finally be memory. I know whose I am. I also know what I am, one of His instruments -- an instrument of war -- and honored to lead a charge!

Written from the heart -- To the warrior's heart.

2 comments:

  1. Amen and amen. I am praying for you and Sandy this AM.

    This parallel of physical rest and a musical rest helps me to understand some things today. Thank you.

    My time of rest is a time of rebuilding, reseting the gears, preparing for the next time of usefulness. In music, rests are important and make things interesting. Why is it that times of physical rest drive us "bull-by-the-horns folks" crazy?

    Pruning makes plants look so bald and bare, don't you think? I like myself better when I'm on my A game, but I have coined a new phrase, "To give up now would be ten times more pitiful then simply failing forward."

    I want some rose blooms again! Just waiting to blossom....

    --b

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  2. Brandi,

    Thanks for the prayers. "Rests" and "pruning" "monochromatic spiritual landscape"

    It's an Adventure, a journey, a test, a way of life.

    Bill

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