Friday, June 5, 2015

God is a God of Crescendo

  1. 1
    a gradual increase in loudness in a piece of music.
adverb & adjective
  1. 1
    with a gradual increase in loudness.
    "a short crescendo kettledrum roll"
  1. 1
    increase in loudness or intensity.
    "the reluctant cheers began to crescendo

I am a flautist. (AKA: I play the flute.) In middle school and high school, my education and my life basically revolved around music. I took the max amount of musical classes permitted for the entirety of my high school career and was involved with more extracurricular and community music projects than I can count or remember.

I adore music.
 It is an integral part of my life and who I am.
I honestly cannot say enough good things about it.

I digress. As I usually must.
In the event that you don't know much about music, allow me to give you a minor (pun intended) and simple explanation of things so that you can figure out where I am heading with this.

In music, when the composer wants to provide increased intensity or emphasis on a certain part or somehow take the audience on an emotional journey, they will often use crescendos. This is a symbol in the music that tells the musician to increase in volume and intensity.
With that being said....

Moving forward and letting go is hard each and every time.
It doesn't necessarily matter how exciting or very much anticipated the next step or chapter may be, the leaving behind is almost always a hard thing to do.

This has been true for myself on more than one occasion. Already. And I am only 26.8-ish years old!

When I decided to finally follow the call of God on my life and move to Springfield, Missouri to attend Central Bible College site unseen, I was more than little bit excited. I was thrilled to finally feel that peace in the deepest part of me, the certainty that I was finally on my way to becoming who I was supposed to be. Of course I was nervous and anxious about moving my entire life to a state that I could barely identify on the map and to a city where I knew NO ONE...but excitement and joy overwhelmed all of that. To be honest, things in Ohio were not peachy. There were a lot of relational issues and other stresses that certainly inspired me to get out. I assumed leaving all of that behind and finally giving myself a fresh start would be a breeze. BUT. When the time came to board that plane with my first of many one way tickets, and when my family left me in my dorm room a few days later, I realized that despite everything unpleasant I was leaving behind, the leaving behind was still hard. I still cried.

CBC became home for me. The people that I learned and grew with became my family. Three years later when it was time to graduate and begin my "real" "grown-up" life, I have never experienced something more bittersweet. Leaving behind this precious season in my life and my dearest friends and mentors was so incredibly painful. But I was also elated for what lied ahead as I moved with some of my closest friends across the country to Seattle, Washington to plant a church. Again. No matter how exciting ahead seemed, behind was so hard to walk away from.

Then of course this past year I felt Jesus asking me to begin pursue His call on my life to foreign missions. My heart leapt at the thought that we were finally on our way. That new cultures and experiences and adventures in ministry and life were around the corner. But it also broke with the heaviness of leaving behind so many people and things I adored in Seattle.

Point in case. Walking away and letting go and moving forward is just plain hard.

What I seem to forget is that God is a God of crescendo...

I suppose it's something I have always known about Him. I had never heard it phrased this way before, but I really love the wording. (For the record I am borrowing the thought from a cool, local preacher whose name I cannot remember.)

I didn't want to lose my first boyfriend or any after because I was sure that I would never find anything or anyone better. I would most certainly never fall in love that way again... I didn't want to leave Springfield and CBC because it was such a sweet season in my life and I was sure I could never find a place like it or friendships like those ones anywhere else... I didn't want to leave Seattle...I loved those kiddos, I loved my church and my team and my job. I was certain that ministry could never be that fun or rewarding again and that I would never find another job that was so perfect....

But what I must remember is that God is a God of crescendo.
There is no peak.
There is no decresendo.
Just when we think we can't go any further or that life can't get any bigger or brighter or louder or more wonderful....well, God goes and shows us just who He is all over again.

In our limited, human scope of thinking and dreaming and imagining, there must be a cap. You know, an end to the wonderful. I mean...think about it. We have several phrases in our everyday language that imply this is a natural part of our thought process.

"All good things must come to an end." "Too much of a good thing..." "What comes up must come down." "Too good to be true..."

We cannot wrap our mind around the idea that life could be one giant crescendo. Even in music, the decrescendo always comes. It seems to be a law of nature and of physics and of music...what goes up must always come down and what is good must always decrease in the level of goodness.

But God.

God is so much bigger and so much more wonderful than any law of nature or physics or music. In fact, He created all of those things and all of the laws that govern them, and so He has the authority and power to override them whenever and however He sees fit.

Living life with Jesus and for Him means that my life is one giant crescendo! It means that whatever I leave behind or walk away from, no matter how much I loved it, can be topped. It means that life can keep on getting better and more wonderful. It means there is no peak to the amount of good and wonderful there can be! It means that I can do bigger and better things with every step forward, with every leaving behind and letting go.

It does NOT mean that life will always be simple and easy and a barrel of laughs, it just means that God can and always will outdo Himself and we should find comfort knowing that in all of the letting go. 

(I would love to note (that was seriously unintended) here...even in music, crescendos are not always pleasant. But, they always get the music where the composer means for it to go and they always help accomplish the feeling he wanted his musicians and listeners to elicit from the music. Likewise in life with Jesus...the crescendos may not always look feel or sound lovely, but always they are meant to take us where He intends for us to end up and to accomplish in us and the life He has given us exactly what He meant. )

So. Keep on moving forward. Keep on taking the next step and the next leap and the next risk. Keep on finding the strength to say those hard goodbyes and open your hands to the letting go...because God is a God of crescendo! Life only grows in fullness when it is lived for Him! 

In honor of my musical post of sorts, I am sharing with you a European orchestra playing one of my all time favorite classical pieces. It is ridden with crescendos and I think you will see that they serve their purpose in the music. Each one pulls more and more out of you! I have fond, very viviid memories of my director passionately telling my flute section that we were not embracing the crescendos. That we needed to be "SCREAMING." Needless to say it is etched in my heart. It tells the story of a famous river in music.

Enjoy The Moldau by Bedrich Smetana
Happy Friday, friends!

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