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Christian Life: INDNJC (Text: Colossians 3:12-17)

By Robert Baker
We really are composers and performers of the music called life, you and I. For just a few moments, consider with me several principles of composition which we need to remember if the music we make with our lives is to bring honor and glory to God. Consider with me some composition principles which -- if followed -- would make it more likely that at the bottom of each of our "life's manuscripts" we could write INDNJC.

I

The first principle I would mention is this: remember the Audience for whom you are ultimately composing and performing. Sure, you compose "life songs" for the sake of your family. Certainly, you produce certain melodies and notes from your friends. No doubt some of the music you make with your life is composed and performed for your job, your school, your community, your church. But ultimately (with the life you live) you are composing and performing a series of "living symphonies" for God.

God is your ultimate Audience. As your Creator, He is the One who gives you talent. He is the One who gives you life. Shouldn't He be the One we ultimately "keep in mind" and "perform for" as we compose and make music with our lives?

What kind of music are you currently making with your life? To what audiences are you "playing" and devoting most of your time? What crowds are you trying to please? Whose applause are you attempting to obtain? Is God the Divine Audience on your concert tour as you journey from stage to stage? How often do you dedicate one of your life songs or one of your performances to God?

Remember the Audience for Whom you are ultimately composing and performing -- that's one principle of composition to keep in mind as you engage in the process of making music with your life.

II

Consider a second principle of composition: Never forget the basics.

Johann Sebastian Bach composed and played some very involved, very complex music works. Regardless of how complex Bach made his masterful, beautiful compositions, he -- like other master composers -- never forgot the importance of some basics: basics like pitch and tempo, dynamics and harmony.

Even in the most sophisticated musical compositions, paying attention to basics is still important. As you compose and make music with your life, do you remember the basics?

Do you recognize, for instance, the importance of pitch? A musician sometimes uses a little instrument called a "pitch pipe" to assist in singing or playing in the right key. When our choir sings an anthem a cappella -- without instrumental accompaniment -- our minister of music sometimes blows a single note on a pitch pipe so that the choir will start singing in the right key. Good conductors and good choirs know the importance of pitch.

When my wife was a member of the A Cappella Choir at Georgetown College, there was a young man in that choir who had "perfect pitch." He did not need a pitch pipe. The conductor could say "sing a B flat" and he could sing a perfectly pitched B flat. The conductor could say "sing an F sharp" and he could sing an F sharp. As long as that young man was in the choir, the conductor did not need a pitch pipe -- he had a "perfectly pitched human pitch pipe" right in his tenor section.

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