Sweet Anna got some tickets to the symphony last night. So we zoomed from church and sloshed through the steady rain (thankfully, we needed the rain) just before the concertmaster took the stage. The program included pieces from Verdi, Albinoni, Rota and all of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No.4 (you would recognize it, its pretty well known). It was an excellent blend of music from the late 17th to the 20th centuries. There was even a modern piece that I liked (and that is saying something) by Rota, which had, as the program notes well said, “quirky harmonies that often recall the language of Prokofiev (who is my favorite 20th c composer – he was a Russian citizen of the USSR whose work was huge during the war effort in WWII).
Now, you ask, why am I talking about this. I speak about this under the title of cooperation because I noticed during this concert how all the different sections and musicians worked together with such cooperation to produce such excellent music.
Two things drove me to this post. Last weeks conference and lasts nights teaching at CCC. The first was last weeks conference which caused me to carefully, thoughtfully and prayerfully consider my and CEO’s mission and strategy. Last night’s talk was about submission and obedience.
At the conference, three words stood out to me about my and CEO’s work: cooperation, collaboration and reconciliation. In last night’s talk two words were compared: submission and obedience.
The musicians were submissive (in attitude) to the leadership of the conductor which caused them to be in obedience to her direction from the podium. As C. S. Lewis discussed, imagine the sound that comes forth if musicians do not follow the sheet music. Submission, it was said last night is an attitude, obedience is an act. But to enjoy the music the performers must have the heart to obey with willingness. Or else they play with a grudge, thus preventing them from the enjoyment of the performance.
This then, is the basis for cooperation. In order for cooperation to happen, there must be submission. Submission to the agreed upon mission. It is here that collaboration can happen and then reconciliation among disagreeing people can result.
Those of us who are followers of the Conductor need to think deeply about these things as we think about our work in Christ’s Kingdom. We are to have hearts of submission, be seen in obedience, looking for cooperation between one another toward a collaborative effort to reconciliation among all people.
Imagine what the world would see if we really did that?