I am here to say one thing today, because now we're back on schedule.
I am here to say that -- your calling? It's your best friend.
Proverbs talks about that friend that sticks closer than a brother. Of course, Solomon means God, means the Spirit that hovers over the face of the waters.
But today I can't help but think of singing in those terms, too.
I think of how singing kept tugging on my soul, pulling gently on my heartstrings. As I ran from it, it followed me, because it is attached to me nearer than the hip. It is knitted to the fiber of my being -- indeed, it is part of that fiber. It's woven into my muscles; it is no coincidence that singing is a thing of muscle memory.
I cannot get away from it; it has indeed stuck closer than a brother.
But it's not annoying. Okay, I take that back: sometimes it's hella annoying. Sometimes all I want is to sit around and watch TV but my body literally craves the physical activity of practicing. It's like I didn't work out that day or something: my body is actually cranky until it gets the activity it needs, both in the sweat and grinding of my muscles and in the gentle stretch of my vocal folds.
If I don't practice, my body knows. Some days I need to rest, 'tis true. But most of the time my body and brain will not allow me to rest until I have experienced the endorphins of practicing for an hour or more. And sometimes that's ridiculously annoying.
But when I have sung? It is the sweetest thing.
I have many wonderful friends that I love. They have been there for me countless times and loved me well. Their companionship is better than I deserve.
But the companionship of calling is different than any I have yet met.
It's a little bit like the Holy Spirit in that it is with you ALL THE DAMN TIME. You cannot walk away from it. You are constantly sharing its bubble, breathing its air -- truly closer than a brother, even than a twin brother.
And it will keep you company for a long time.
That's another reason it's important for us to nourish calling well, to take good care of our vocation (and for me, specifically, the actual mechanism of the voice): it's going to be with us forever. Let's take care of it so it serves us well and so that we serve it well and so that both of us together serve the Kingdom of God, which is, of course, what calling is actually about.
Callings change and shift from season to season, based on the purpose of God. That I cannot deny. But I know that the calling you have is bred into your skin. You cannot get rid of it. Maybe it's more like a sibling than a friend, in that you're a little bit stuck with it.
But it will listen when you are lonely. It will listen when you are lonely because the Spirit of God is in it. I cannot tell you the number of times I have been unbearably sad, and then -- singing, with all its magic, has made me feel better. Solitary hours in the practice room are never lonely ones, because I am not alone.
It will go with you wherever you go. Wherever I am, there also is my voice and my musicality.
It will be your friend, because it will never ditch you.
Really, it sounds like I'm writing about the Holy Spirit -- and am I not? Calling is given by the Spirit. It's woven of His magic. It finds its home in our spirit, and calling happens where our soul meets the Spirit of God.
Jesus is my Bestest Friend. He is my companion. And He has given me calling to accompany us on the Road. This thing that is born of both He and I, the bone of my bone, an offshoot of the magic of God.
It is both high and personable. It is lofty and it is earthy. I can touch it. It is here with me.
It's my best friend.
It is made of dust and loam like me and of gold and silver like the fairy dust God breathed into my soul when He made me.
And this strange hybrid creature is with us like breath.
Our breath, yes -- but the breath of God in us.