for the past week, i've made a change in my daily routine that seems to be very helpful. i've begun rising at 5:00 to go to the church, where i spend time in prayer and meditation and do my daily service and rehearsal preparation. being in the church for my morning quiet time has been especially beneficial, and having my musical "chores" out of the way before 7:30 enables me to spend much more time at home helping my wife. i've always enjoyed rising early in the morning and find that for many activities, like practicing, i am much more efficient before daylight.
as i sat in the church a few days ago, hearing the sounds of our 1904 structure before the city noises drowned them out, i sensed the presence of God in the building and heard God saying to me that just as "I Am in the burning bush with moses, I Am with you here. I Am in every board, every piece of fabric, in the music that you will soon play, in the hymnals, in the bibles, in the very air you breathe." this gave me a great feeling of comfort and the realization that God is everywhere, in everything, including me, even when i don't acknowledge God's presence. God is more than a remote Creator; there is a part of God in all that was created. everything is sacred, in that sense, and the more we acknowledge the holiness of all things, the more God is honored.
as i played that morning, i had an awareness that the music i made was not only my offering to God, but it was God's gift to me, that God was present in the music. as i let myself enjoy the freedom of knowing that in the making of music, there was an exchange of ideas between God and me, and that i could "be" in the music if i let myself go without struggling against the difficulties the music might present. that freedom continued as i played the service on sunday, and the parts of the service that i improvise were especially enjoyable for me.
my prayer for each of us this day is that we become more aware of the sacredness of all that has been created and more sensitive to God's presence in everything. shalom