Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Carpe Diem

On Saturday evening we enjoyed a concert of Baroque music at St Martin in the Fields.  The programme included Pachelbel's Canon, Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring and Vivaldi's Four Seasons.  As well as being struck by the beauty of the music I was also intrigued by the biographical notes alongside each composer's name - in particular (for some reason that now escapes me!) how old, or young they were when they died.  It's hard to believe that Mozart - who seems to have composed a billion masterpieces - died aged 35. Pachelbel at 53, Vivaldi reaching 63 and Bach making it till 65.  None of them making the bible's 'three score years and ten' let along today's expectations of living well into our eighties and even nineties.

What really struck me - especially about Mozart - was just how much they achieved in so short a time frame.

I suspect my mood might also have been influenced by the knowledge that this Saturday I'm preaching at the Memorial Service for a dear friend, The Revd Dr John Tattersall who was my 'mentor' whilst I was at Spurgeon's College and who died a few months ago out in the USA aged just 70.

None of us in our house speak Latin but we often use the aphorism from that language which goes Carpe Diem - Seize the Day!  We usually shout it trying to get the boys out of bed!

Although Woody Allen tried to make us all laugh by saying of his death that he'd prefer not to be there when it happened - the truth is we all have a finite amount of time and making the most of it - by seizing the day - seems to me to be a very positive way of approaching the days and hopefully years that are left to us - and also one that honours God who has given us this gift in the first place.

Life is precious - so Carpe Diem!

With best wishes,

Ian

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