For the past three weeks, I have basked in learning more about the Book of Psalms as part of my Old Testament Study. I have been uplifted, enraptured, and inspired as I have read passages from the scriptures. But even more, I have been filled with joy as I have listened to the weekly Follow Him podcast with Hank Smith and John Bytheway, along with their three fantastic guests: Shon D. Hopkin, Eric D. Huntsman, and Michael McLean.
I was not expecting the experience that I had over the course of the past three weeks. As I listened to these amazing scholars, teachers, and musicians, I began to feel such deep joy and gratitude as they shared their knowledge and love of the scriptures, and more significantly, their love of music. Each guest was able to share history, testimony, and their experiences with music in a unique way. I found myself in another realm, basking in the light of their testimonies. It was an extraordinary experience for me, one that I will always remember, and one which has touched me to the depths of my soul.
My life is filled to the brim with learning, teaching, and performing. It is also filled with meetings and paperwork. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. I love music to my very core. I love teaching. I love performing. I love sharing. But as of late, with so many challenges on every side, my musical and spiritual cup has been empty. And from that emptiness, it has been difficult to give to others.
For many years I was able to perform sacred music in a variety of settings, almost weekly. It was a treasured part of my life and career. In fact, other than my family and students, that sacred part of my career gave me sustenance. It filled my musical and spiritual cup to the brim and fed my soul in ways that nothing else ever has.
As I sit here, reminiscing over the miraculous three weeks with the Book of Psalms, I am remembering that the Lord literally fed me manna in my musical and spiritual wilderness. I am remembering that I received a gift from others, of feeling once again the joy of music. And I am remembering the joy of music as I read the final verse of Psalms: “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.”