Posts tagged " cherubs "

Music, Marriage and Eternal Life

March 16th, 2020 Posted by Thought Tools 14 comments

On a recent Sunday afternoon, I sat among a capacity crowd in a darkened auditorium.  I sat on the edge of my seat as, upon the stage, about a hundred young people between the ages of ten and seventeen played complex classical musical masterpieces with stunning perfection. The music by Beethoven, Bruch, and Mahler was being played by members of a city youth orchestra. It was the youth orchestra of one of America’s most deeply troubled cities.  Violent crime, high school drop-out rates, rampant drug use and the virtual abolition of normal family life plague this city.  Surviving somehow, in this desert of doom and destruction, were these children who devoted hours to honing their musical talents and their parents who made music lessons a priority despite competing pulls on their time and finances. There I sat in open-mouthed astonishment in a virtual oasis, surrounded by the parents and siblings as these young virtuosos played their hearts out on stage.

But wait! Was my sense of wonder really well placed?  In many parks and fields around that same city were plenty of other groups of young people.  They were playing football, soccer or basketball. Of those, quite a few were on teams playing proficiently.  Is there really any difference between being on a football team and playing in a youth orchestra?  Don’t they both require discipline, dedication, and teamwork?  Why be more amazed at music than basketball?  I asked myself whether there really is any true and objective reason to value participating in a youth orchestra more than participating in athletics and sports?

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Only the Lonely

March 5th, 2018 Posted by Thought Tools 30 comments

1999:  Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were described as loners…

2007:  At Virginia Tech, Cho Seung-Hui presented a chilling portrait of a 23-year-old loner

2010:   The man accused of shooting two children at a Carlsbad elementary school was described by neighbors Saturday as a loner…

2011:  Brazilian school shooter, Menezes de Oliveira, described as a loner…

2012:  Adam Lanza was a quiet, withdrawn loner…

2012:  The alleged shooter, TJ Lane, was described by Chardon High School classmates as a loner…

2018:   Classmates, relatives and neighbors have described Cruz as a loner…

The above direct quotes from news coverage of different school shootings share only one feature—loner.  I discussed my analysis of the Parkland school shooting on my podcast here. In this Thought Tool, I present to you something quite different. 

God created a world dependent upon connection.   Words, musical notes, and even the chemical elements of the periodic table all must connect before they are useful to humans.  Most importantly, we God’s children were created to connect.  Connectedness is necessary for our own sense of identity.  Loneliness is painful partially because it alienates us from ourselves.  Admittedly, killing other people is an extreme and thankfully rare response to excruciating loneliness.  Nonetheless, while most of us do not react violently to the pain of disconnectedness, we still suffer. 

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