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  • Jolynn Lee


I wonder......did the composers of the great symphonies know what they would sound like as they were in the process of writing them? When I looked up the definition of compose, several entries were given: write or create with care and thought; form (a whole) by ordering or arranging the parts and conversely, order or arrange (parts) to form a whole; to calm or settle. This lead me to then seek out the definition of symphony.

A symphony is defined as an elaborate musical composition for full orchestra, typically in four movements. Each movement within a symphony is like the chapter of a book, and most symphonies feature three to four movements, occasionally a symphony may be written with one or two movements, but it is most common to have four movements.

Now comes the technical part,

and yes, I took piano for years!

Movements within a symphony are written at different tempos (speeds). The first and last are typically more upbeat and faster, one movement (usually the second but not always), tends to be slower. While most symphonies are written in the same key, the slow movement is usually in a different key from the rest.

If you remember anything from middle and high school literature then this will sound familiar. Literature possesses an introduction (exposition), the development of the story (rising action/climax/ falling action), and then the conclusion and resolution of the story. The same applies in the writing of a symphony. Composers feature multiple movements within the work (chapters), in which a theme is presented and explored through music, changing and developing as the music progresses. Eventually the musical composition reaches a conclusion and resolution with the end of the composition.

Now, take all of that "useless knowledge" and revisit the song above.

God is the composer of our lives.

He is writing a symphony that is our story lived out on this earth.

A symphony is written to be played by a full orchestra, many parts all playing together to create a beautiful story. We were never designed to walk this life journey alone, but in relationship with the master composer and each other. We need both vertical and horizontal relationship for the symphony of our life to be played in richness and beauty. Additionally, just as books have chapters and symphonies have movements, our life will contain seasons where different themes seem dominate. However, if we allow God to be the master composer of our life, a predominate theme will be woven through it all. A theme that beautifully conveys He is for us, He is with us, He loves us and He will never leave us. A theme for all the world to experience. He creates beauty in every season, every chapter, every movement of our story - if we allow ourselves to be shaped and molded by His guidance and touch. And in the darkest times, those movements of pain, loss, grief, confusion and sorrow, we can hold fast to the knowledge - the composer is not done constructing the beauty that will be the symphony of our life. We are still a work in progress, and while we may not be able to yet hear how the composition will sounds in its entirety, we have the assurance of knowing God creates beauty from ashes, joy from mourning, and peace in the midst of the storm - the end result will be a priceless work of great beauty. We just have to trust the composer to complete the symphony of our life.

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