The other day, I picked up my oldest son from his school carpool. We began a typical conversation about homework. I asked specifically about the homework he was working on for his music theory class at Saddleback College. He told me about his homework that dealt with the circle of fifths and key signatures. I mentioned that he was good at music because he is good at math. He said, “Yeah, it’s pretty systematic.” I answered, “Isn’t it interesting that something so systematic can be so beautiful? Music theory is systematic and yet you end up with something that is subjective…it can feel happy, sad or scary.”
As I pondered this, I realized that there is an insight here for our spiritual growth. We set up movements for ourselves that, when strung together in various ways, make beautiful music in our life. Just as there is a “system” to music—key signatures, scales, time signatures—so are there some basic practices we engage to nurture our relationship with God. Each of us knows which practices nurture our own souls. You know in your own heart what draws you to your Father. You alone know your deepest desires. These are the places from which “the disciplines” spring.
Each person is unique, just as is each song. God is, of course, the true composer, as He speaks through His Word, through nature, through friends and through our own lives.