On Meditation, or, I Don’t Particularly Like Organ Music
Sometimes life just gets to that point. You probably know what I’m talking about. The point when it feels like you don’t have control over anything. When it feels like your world is about to come crashing down around you. When the future seems uncertain, when it’s hard to feel hopeful, when you know He is there but He is difficult to see.
I came to that point on Friday night (technically, early Saturday morning), so Saturday found me looking up “Catholic church” on my phone, driving to St. Albert the Great in Austin, and sitting in a (mostly) empty sanctuary, just looking to pray and to find peace. Below are some excerpts from my journal that I wrote while in that sanctuary.
I’m sitting here in a Catholic church. It’s not particularly large or particularly ornate. Apparently I got here just in time, as the lady who was watering the flowers when I came in just told me she’s locking the doors and asked me to make sure they close behind me when I leave. There are many pictures of Mary and Jesus–not surprising. The sanctuary is beautiful, and I can hear piano music faintly coming from somewhere else in the building.
I don’t know exactly why I’m here. To pray, yes. To write, yes. For silence, yes…
After I wrote the above, I heard one of the doors in the back of the sanctuary open. A young, well-dressed man walked up to the alter, genuflected in front of it, then walked behind it and sat down at the organ. I set my journal down, bowed my head (partially in prayer, partially in hopes that he wouldn’t see me), and listened while the young man played for about 30 minutes or so.
A young man came in and played the organ in here. Normally, I’m not a big fan of organ music, but this time I hung on to every note, and I heard such beauty in the music. I did my best to just listen, and let my other thoughts melt away. About halfway through, I felt something almost other-worldly. I wonder if this is what meditation feels like. I also wonder if the young man playing the organ realized he was giving me a private concert with just him and God at that moment.
Why had I ended up in that church on that afternoon? Truth be told, I don’t entirely know why. My journal contains many more writings of the things in my life that were, and still are, on my heart and mind. I didn’t receive any answers, and I didn’t have any insights or revelations. But what I did experience was my first taste of meditation, concentrating on the beauty of what was right in front of me and listening for God in every note of every song, and the sense of peace that came from being still.
I found God in the organ music. And I don’t particularly like organ music.
If finding Him there was the entirety of why I ended up in that church on Saturday, that is enough.