I found the idea of “shifting our focus from ‘Mine’ to ‘Ours'” a really helpful one. The analogy of worship as a symphony (Ours) rather than an individual melody (Mine) made a lot of sense to me, as a way of making that shift.
I have often tried to express a similar shift in narrative terms: we are not the heroes of our own stories, but ensemble players in the story of God. And as we shift from “Mine” to “Ours” one of the outworkings of that is that we cannot expect to see the whole narrative arc – our stories are part of a greater story which we cannot see in its entirety, and so the parts we do see may not always make sense to us by themselves.
Similarly, when I used to play in orchestras, I would only have the flute part in front of me. Only the conductor has the whole score, and the players in the orchestra have to trust them to lead us through in ways that weave the part we can see into the whole we cannot see. Sometimes, depending on the piece, my part would contain many bars of rests – when I had no idea what would be played, not even one small part of the whole. Other times I would have the melody, and therefore a fair idea of the general direction in which the piece is heading, but still only a tiny part of the whole. More often I would have fragments of music which made little sense by themselves, and were often not at all beautiful when practiced alone, but would weave in with the other instruments to make something greater than the sum of its parts.
Like any analogy, it can be stretched too far, but I think there is a lot of wondering that could be done around the symphony metaphor. When, in our lives with God, are we directed to rest? When do we catch sight of the tune? When does our part feel dull or repetitive, or make little sense? And how can we tune in to listen more attentively to the symphony into which we are being drawn?
This year for #AdventBookClub we are reading ‘Music of Eternity: meditations for Advent with Evelyn Underhill’ by Robyn Wrigley-Carr. Join the conversation in the Facebook group, or by following the hashtag on Twitter.