Today’s Word: ‘Being’ as in… at the end of the day, it’s always great to be reminded that we’re human beings created to bring life and aliveness to one another. Michael Torke is one remarkably creative human being.

That’s just a teaser. I’ll come back to Michael. But first, some context.

Dear friends, the election season has come to an end. I’ll just pause and let that sink in. Certainly, arguments are still being waged over the minutiae. Of course, deeper discussions are still to come about the process. But for the most part we’ve navigated through another intersection on the Road of Democracy and turned another corner in our journey together into the future. And with that intersection and with that turn comes a necessary reminder that we are, ultimately, all human beings called to live together, work together, play together, learn together, fail and succeed together.

As human beings we are called to ‘Be’ together in ways that bring life to all people. Toward that end, my invitation today is to listen together.

Now, back to Michael Torke.

Early last week, with Election Fatigue seemingly at an all-time high, I was feeling anxious and weary about the entire process, so much so that that even my meditation practice was making much of a dent. And just when I realized that I wasn’t breathing deeply enough, something truly remarkable happened. A fresh breeze of new life blew into my soul. A sense of hope revived me bringing a surprising sense of comfort and peace.

John Birge, the morning host for Minnesota Public Radio’s Classical MPR, played one of the movements from Michael Torke’s 2020 release, “Being.” As Michael’s music filled our home, I was drawn into the living room where his music surrounded me.

As “Pt.6” began to wash over me, I closed my eyes and imagined the oboe, the flute and the clarinets playfully tossing the syncopated melody back and forth. I relaxed my shoulders as the bassoon, horns and a trumpet picked up the animated strains of the composition. I breathed deeply as the timpani and marimbas provided the engaging rhythm. And then a couple of pianos, the violins, a viola, a cello and a bass provided even more joy. My goodness! It was just so captivating and healing in a way that refreshed to my soul; a necessary retreat from all of the noise that had been swirling around me.

It was just the break I needed. And of course this made me think of the times that Jesus invited his followers to take a break. With each retreat to “a quiet place” Jesus was inviting them to navigate through another intersection on the Road Back to Themselves; to turn another corner in their journey together into the future that God was creating right along with them. With each intersection and with each turn came the necessary reminder that they were indeed human beings equipped and called live together, work together, play together, learn together, fail and succeed together; to ‘Be’ together in ways that would bring life and aliveness to all of them – and to all of us.

So, dear friend, listen to Michael Torke’s “Being” today. There are nine parts. But just one part might be all you need in order to get back in touch with yourself. If nothing else, it could be the best 43 minutes of your life today.


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