Alright, so. I'm going to put forth a real effort to update this blog more frequently during the course of the next month and a half. The reason being I have a really exciting opportunity placed before me to travel to a few different parts of the world, and people I know have asked if I have a blog so they can keep updated. So here it is. A blog with a purpose ... maybe I will now be more motivated and disciplined. Speaking of motivation and discipline; those are two words the LORD had really been putting heavy on my heart this past week while at MasterWorks. And yet I still haven't done anything about it. Seeing as how today is basically over, tomorrow is the next best time to put a little change into effect. But clearly I cannot make it on my own, I must have strength from the LORD because I fail at being motivated and disciplined by myself ... as evidenced by my last 25 years of life; and more recently the past 2 years of music festival.
We had a great sermon at MasterWorks this morning from Beat Rink. Beat is an important head-guy for Crescendo, which is basically the arts branch of Campus Crusade for Christ in Europe (mostly). He also works with the Summer Institute in Hungary which is part of my exciting adventures this summer. I will try to post an update containing the details of said adventures tomorrow. Anyway, Beat spoke today about Ezekial 30 and the call of the artists in the creation of the Temple. And he spoke about the Old Testament giving a view of art, a concept of art and what that looks like. And that it holds true for us today as Christian artists. He said art is/needs three things: 1) artistic skill; 2) wisdom; 3) the Spirit of God. He did not go so in depth into the artistic skill, that is fairly obvious and accepted. He spoke of wisdom also as three things: 1) relationship; 2) reality; 3) fear of God. The word "relationship" has been such an important word in the development of my faith and in my life. I cannot really explain the significance it carries with me, but to know that this Christian life I lead, and then beyond that, this musical life I lead, to know it is about relationships is what most gives it meaning and significance for me -- that gives it purpose. That wisdom is reality combats the ideas of many Eastern religions which say reality is an illusion and something to be overcome. That wisdom handles the facts of this life is greatly empowering I think, for lack of a better word. And that wisdom is the fear of God is readily stated in the Proverbs, but still something to trip over frequently.
Melissa and I were discussing this tonight on the hill outside Westminster. What does it mean to fear God? I joked with one of our conductors earlier, Miriam Burns, that I have learned a little more about the fear of God from sitting second to my current principal. I have learned a healthy and righteous fear which makes me practice. (Don't get me wrong, my principal is marvelous and very caring, but there is still a little intimidation that happens.) But I think it is also more than this. I think that fear of God is seeing oneself rightly in relation to God (there's that word again). It is to see onself as finite and small, but also infinitely beloved. It is humility. I think this is what fear of God is, and consequently the beginning of wisdom. One is wise who sees himself as having no intrinsic value, and yet being incredibly valued by the Creator.
In terms of prayer requests and praises (I've got to find a new way to phrase that). Most immediately, today I have been physically and spiritually under the weather. My spirit has been very much at unrest and my throat has been getting more and more sore (which seems to be going around the festival). On top of that, this evening I began to get a little dizzy and am indeed still a little dizzy sitting here in my bed. I'm not sure if this is part of my progressive heart disease, or just part of this sickness which is going around, but I cannot really handle much more of it. Motivation and discipline as aforementioned continue to be constant battles these days and also a slump I could really use getting pushed out of. But the LORD is good and many prayers have been answered here -- physical healing has occurred, emotional wounds have begun being patched, etc. etc. amongst my friends and it is refreshing to see.