Garland Of Grace – 08.21.14


Wrong Willy Wonka! We Are Not the Music Makers

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” – Psalm 19:1

Very few movies have the ability to cross over generational lines. But one story that both myself and my children have enjoyed is “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” also known to some simply as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” One of my favorite lines in the movie is when Willy Wonka, in his own quirky and eccentric way, tells Veruca Salt that “we are the music makers and the dreamers of dreams.” It is a catchy quote that has resonated with me throughout the years. “We are the music makers…” What a statement!  This particular movie line (spoken in the voice of Gene Wilder of course) has rung in my ears since early childhood.

Yet, are created people really the music makers? Or would it not be more accurate to say that Creator God, the author of created man, is truly the one and only Music Maker?  Obviously it is not my intention to over analyze a line from an innocent children’s story, but this thought came to mind early one morning in 2012 while walking on the beach in Orange Beach, Alabama.

Each morning on our vacation that year I would get up before Sarah and the children to walk on the beach and spend time with the Lord. On this particular morning, I had everything ready. I had my hat, my windbreaker, my Bible, my journal, and my mp3 player to enjoy some music during in my quiet time with God. But as I began to walk on the beach, the instrumental symphonic music I was listening to suddenly stopped. I pulled out my MP3 player only to find that it had a dead battery. For a brief moment, I felt disappointment. But the disappointment was quickly replaced with a rush of wonder; for the man-made symphonic music I had been listening to had been drowning out the greatest symphony of all! Surrounding me was God’s symphony of creation. My ears were flooded with the sound of crashing waves followed by the sound of the foaming water as it skimmed the sand and retracted back into the ocean. I heard the cries of sea gulls and the sound of the wind as it blew into my ears. Why did I even bring my music player; for God had provided the His own symphony performing in the concert hall of His glorious creation! Willy Wonka’s quote came to mind, and I realized that people are not the music makers; God is. He is the Conductor. We are only performers in His symphony. When I returned to the hotel, I told my family about the lesson I learned while on the beach.

But lessons learned are easily forgotten. That night, Sarah and I took the children to the hotel pool. I have never been much of a swimmer, so I took a book with me that I had been reading, along with (you guessed it) my fully charged MP3 player. There I was, relaxing in a pool chair, reading and listening to my man-made symphonic music, when all of a sudden I heard my six-year old daughter ask me to take out my ear buds and listen to God’s creation. What she said next I will never forget. She said, “Remember what you told us this morning about listening to God’s creation? Your children’s voices are part of God’s creation too.” I was immediately reminded of Jesus’ words, “Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise for yourself’” (Matthew 21:16). How easily we forget and abandon the lessons we learn in God’s school of life!

We must have an open ear and listen for the teaching moments God sounds off before us. I pray that every child of God would realize that there is never a time in their spiritual pilgrimage that they “arrive” and are no longer in need of lessons from their heavenly Father. Interestingly enough, that particular weekend I was celebrating twenty years as a believer. Yet even after twenty years, I was still in need of schooling. And God used Willy Wonka, an MP3 player, and a six-year old little girl to teach me a particular lesson I needed. How about you? Are you sensitively listening for the voice of God?  If not, begin doing so today; for there is a glorious symphony out there for you to hear.

 – Pastor Eric

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