Somewhere on the breeze you hear the music.
Somewhere in the distance you can feel something pressing into your body.
Everyone is constantly wondering about purpose. In America, at least, from the moment you are old enough to formulate the concept, everyone is asking you what you want to be when you grow up. And we dream and we have ideas and we talk, with all the carefreeness and carelessness of children.
I picture myself at five years old. Blonde, with bangs that stuck everywhere when I wore headbands (which was often). Eyes that shut when people took my picture. A little nose quick to crinkle at my distaste.
What has happened to my boldness, I wonder?
I wanted to be a teacher at one point; I am sure that somewhere in me is the desire to be an astronaut (doesn't every little kid have that desire? Even the big kids, too?). When I was in middle school I wanted to write for my life and living, and I am sure I would have done if something else hadn't happened when I was twelve -- more on that later.
You see, we are all looking.
We are all looking for our Thing.
The Thing that will light us up from within like paper lanterns that are set adrift and left to float up to God like incense, like the sweet, sweet sound in His ear.
Sometimes it takes a while. I knew when I was twelve -- but then I got cold feet about it just this year, at almost-23. And I doubted. And everything felt dark and hazy, like I was muffled, like I was asleep and having terrible, fuzzy, nightmarish dreams.
Somewhere in the distance we can hear the song of creation, as in J.R.R. Tolkien's Ainulindale.
You see, in Tolkien's legendarium, the universe is sung into Creation. The song is planned and composed by Iluvatar, the All-Father, and sung by the Ainur, angelic beings who serve the Father.
It's this song that we can hear in the distance, echoing just underneath, like a tune we can't quite catch.
I've heard mentors say that musicians don't create or invent the music. We simply download what's already there, like we're hooked into the Cloud.
And that's true with calling. We can hear the music on the breeze -- and one magical day, we lock into it.
A strain catches our ear.
And glory be --
we sit up.
Our eyes widen.
And it feels like being awake.
We try to hum it back, and discovering that we can is elation like dawn.
Discovering our strain of the song and watching to see how it fits in with the full symphony: this will be the rest of our lives. It is a substantial chunk on the pie chart of our personal Adventure Story.
But we don't know that at the time.
We only know that one day we are asleep, and the next, it's as if our lungs are on fire.
One day we are straining to hear the music, and the next, it sounds sharp and clear in our minds, a song that's been going on for ages and ages hence, but what we hear feels like our introduction.
It feels like the Introit to the rest of our lives.
You see, when I was twelve, I saw my first Broadway musical.
And after that, everything was different.