Recently I came across a meme on Facebook that said " I wish my life had background music, so I could know what's going on." And if you stop and think about it it makes alot of sense. For instance, supposing that as you were walking into a place you heard erie music playing- you would know to be on your guard. Or perhaps you heard something like a battle hymn and you knew to get ready for battle. Or romantic music, and you would know that the person that you met was the one.
The truth is we have such a music. He is the Holy Spirit- the divine musician. The divine music.
The Holy Spirit is the member of the Trinity that seems the least well understood. I certainly had some fuzzy ideas about who the Holy Spirit is. But a fuzzy idea is not as bad as a wrong idea that we don't know is wrong. And if we do not undertsand the Spirit we cannot truly undertsand the Father and the Son. Once I understood the Holy Spirit's role in my life and in that of the Trinity through the analogy of the the music of a dance, not only did his role become clear, but I also cleared up some misconceptions regarding Jesus and the Father.
Music in dance defines the how of the dance. If a waltz comes on I know that it will smooth and flowing. If swing is played it will be joyful and boisterous. The music is the spirit of the dance. It does not replace the lead; rather it compliments it. In order to have a relationship with God we need to listen to both Christ and the Spirit at the same time, and we need to respond to them at the same time. In a sense we have faculties for hearing both. So we are left with some practical questions- What does the Spirit sound like? And once I recognize the Spirit, how do I respond?
In my own ADD spirit I often have a ton of my own thoughts and feelings swirling about, so it's important to quiet them as much as possible. Having done that I have to cut through what is left to recognize what is from the Spirit.
To do that I next recognize that the Spirit prepares me to encounter Christ, in much the same way that the music tells the follower it's time to dance with the leader. But not only does the music tell me that is time, it also tells me the dance- and the dance tells me how I will move and pose and how I will connect. The Spirit does this through the bestowal of his Gifts- knowledge, understanding, fear of the Lord, piety, wisdom, counsel and fortitude. These seven gifts awaken in us the desire for the infinite. When we encounter Christ these same gifts help us to regognize him and give us the means to follow him, at least in a basic way. So I look for these gifts in a certain part of me- in the "deep" as it were. They are not simply emotions but movements in the heart.emotions change rapidly and also in a way that is devoid or artistic reason, but the gifts to the spirit move in a way, that although not predictable, do make sense, and should appeal to our sense of beauty.
One we enter into the dance with Christ- and having entered into that dance I know that the lead and the music will be in harmony. Thus, if I see a discord between the two I must assume that I error in omy understanding of one or both. Briefly, in following Christ I am looking for movements of the heart- that is, it "feels" almost like the lead of the dance, but in a more spiritual sense. This movement requires an act of the will to complete! In fact, without the act of the will, no one can possibly see the lead! Finally, none of the leads can ever be something that would bcause me to sin. This is contrast to addiction, which cuts will out of the act and leads to sin.
In following Christ I am looking for the same movements, in the form of the Fruits of the Spirit. Joy and peace are the two most important fruits for recogizing the union with God. This joy and peace is most noticeable at the bad moments of our life, since they flow from God and not from us. In addition we should see a growth in self control- since this self control is needed to make a gift of ourselves to God. If I am growing in at least some of the virtues I am doing well. The more I grow in the better I hear the Spirit. So understanding the science of the Fruits is required to practice the art of listening to the Spirit in the dance.
It's important to undertsand that we won't ever be really great at this in this life. The important thing to is to be faithful- to keep trying.