What Inspires You?

One of our members, World Library Publications, is issuing 3 new recordings on vinyl this year. So, when I got word of these new recordings–one is Bing Crosby and the Christmas story–I got jazzed.

See, tucked away in a cabinet in our library is my stack of records ranging from “The Carpenters” to “Pebbles and Bam-Bam’s Christmas” (yes, really!), and a collection of 78s from the Big Band era.

Records were the soundtrack of my life growing up. They accompanied me in my low moments, sang me out of my doldrums, and celebrated the mountain experiences. Because I would listen to them from start to finish (never just one song), I lived through a whole range of emotions and experiences by the time the last song ended. My faith was formed by Ray Repp, “Joy Is Like the Rain,” and Followers of the Way.

Most people would say that music inspires them. Some music, somewhere. At least once in a lifetime.

What music inspires you?

Why?

I learned that I could be whatever and whoever I wanted to be (“Free to Be You and Me.”) This special and album spearheaded by Marlo Thomas inspired me to look beyond societal boundaries. It helped me believe that I was as capable as the next equally talented and skilled person in the room.

I learned to observe and experience with all of my senses through Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” and then Ravel’s orchestration of it. It started as a college “Symphonic Appreciation” assignment, but it captivated my already-nerdy inclination toward museums. The original piano piece added an aural dimension to the visual that has never let me go. It challenges me look at decisions from different points of view, and stop and engage when something doesn’t immediately grab me.

I also learned how to be present in prayer before God. When I was about middle school age, a group of young adults recorded 2 albums as the Followers of the Way. I spent a lot of time listening to, singing with, and dancing to these songs. As I was growing into my faith, they helped me find God in the world, in my family, and in myself.

So, what 3 songs (or albums) have contributed to the score of your life and ministry, and why? How do you still see and hear them resonating in your work and ministry?

We Are All Pilgrims

Pilgrim, on your journey at the break of day,
Follow the sun’s rising as heaven lights your way.
Pilgrim, know your pathway deep within your heart,
May you find the wisdom to help you journey far.

Which are you?

A put-one-foot-in-front-of-the-other kind of person just trying to keep the ministry going, getting the next event done, watching your proverbial feet to make sure you don’t step in any potholes or stumble and fall along the way.

A head-held-high-looking-for-the-next-destination type who doesn’t see the flora and fauna you pass because the next goal, the next accomplishment, the next promotion, the next “whatever” is coming around the bend and you don’t want to miss it.

Maybe a little of both?

We are all pilgrims everyday. Not just on those days or weeks when we take time to get away from the daily grind and focus our reflection on the journey.

As much as we are the hands and feet of Christ in our ministry, we must remain pilgrims each and every day. As the refrain of this song says,

May God guide you, may God guide you;
God is your peace, God is your hope, God is your light.
May God guide you, may God guide you;
God is the way, God is the truth, God is the life.

At the beginning of each day, let this be your prayer of pilgrimage as you face the work and ministry that you do.