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Do You Overplay or Underplay? That’s the Wrong Question.

How about…Do you play with Beauty in mind?

France - Paris: Haunting Beauty

Over the years I’ve come to believe that beauty is directly related to order, and order only occurs through godly submission.  (note: Although there is a sense of order in forced labor and other forced forms of submission, that type of submission produces no beauty, only pain and sadness).

Consider our universe, the beauty of the stars, planets and heavenly bodies, even the seemingly chaotic activity in the cosmos, is the product of those bodies submitting to the laws God has placed over them.  The same goes for the beauty of our earth, whether it be mountains, plains, oceans, the vibrant colors of our seasons and infinite varieties of sunsets, all know their place and submit to the laws of the Creator.

Our relationships are made beautiful only when there is loving, orderly submission to one another.  Consider Paul’s exhortation for us to submit to one another out of love (Eph. 5-6), and most importantly, the example set by Jesus’ submission to the Father (John 15:10).  Once again, the orderly beauty of these relationships comes from loving, humble submission, not forced submission.

Art follows this path as well.  Beautiful art is art that was created by an artist, an artist that passionately formed the paint, clay, wood or stone to submit to his idea.  What about abstract art?  Where’s the beauty and order in something that is purposely created without order in mind?  Great question, but I believe the abstract artists create their works with the intent on the viewer finding order and beauty in the seeming chaos.  In other words, great abstract art inspires visions of beauty and order in the mind of the viewer.

Music is no different from the above examples.  The musician’s instrument submits to her hands and ideas to create the beautiful, orderly sound.  The band or orchestra, likewise is made up of fellow musicians with a like passion to create beauty from their combined, cooperative, orderly and purposeful playing of instruments and voices.  If one or more members chooses to not submit to the others, then order is disturbed and beauty tainted.

As a worship musician, I must play to inspire and represent beauty.  Why?  Because all beauty points to a creator. As human artists/creators, I believe it’s appropriate to receive and appreciate accolades for the beauty we create. However, as Christians, we must also remember that the beauty within us has been given to us by The Creator.  It is, therefore, our highest calling as musicians to make every effort to create beauty with our music so that we may point the listener, the worshiper, to the ultimate Creator of all beauty.