Ethics and Jazz

My kids live by their own code of ethics.
If a wrong has been done, every member of the family must be made aware.
Wronged
Upset
If a sister gets a new toy, all other sisters immediately claim playing rights. Unless it is their toy, in which case it belongs to them alone.
Sharing is hard
It belongs to me
All are mine
If one sister is playing with the baby, all other sisters must immediately leave whatever they were doing and try to take over the baby’s attention.
My baby
I want her
Ethics.
It is one of those seminary words, one of those university words, one of those first-day-in-the-workplace words.
Rather than the list of rules by which we live, it is actually a description of reality.
Perhaps it is better portrayed as a description of what we observe or know about the fabric of reality. It is a link between what we believe and how we live. A link between our mind and our heart.
Learning about ethics is often viewed as unnecessary, as irrelevant to our daily lives. Yet if we don’t understand the ethics of our faith, how can we know how to act in any given situation?
I, for one, am not able to memorize enough rules to cover any condition in which I might find myself. None of us want to live that way, constantly searching our minds for a rule to obey.
I would much rather live like a great jazz pianist.
Dave Brubeck quartet
Diana Krall
A jazz pianist, a really good one, knows his art intimately. It is a part of his spirit.
When he plays with a band, he knows what exists in the music. He knows the nature of the musical form, he knows the structure of the harmonics well enough to think quickly and compose something that fits in with the reality of the music.
It is so seamless it appears as though he had spent weeks composing it ahead of time.
This is how I want to live.
I want to know God and how He has created the nature of this life and this world well enough to know how to respond no matter what is happening around me. I want to be able to react so seamlessly that it appears I had spent weeks thinking through my reaction ahead of time.
I want, I suppose, to have the mind of Christ.
For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual…But we have the mind of Christ. ~ I Corinthians 2.11-16
May we know our own ethics and how they describe God’s reality so well as to be able to improvise our lives beautifully.
As beautifully as jazz.

Art credits: Dave Brubeck photograph by user:don’tworry; Diana Krall photograph by Rob Garland

 

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  1. […] at all. So, we’ll see. If you missed the first two, I would love for you to read about how ethics helps us live like a great jazz pianist and about some of the things that music teaches us about God. Today I’m moving away from […]

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