May 29, 2022
Well, here we are: back to me writing a few deep thoughts for you on random Sundays.
If you missed the first twelve “Proverbs” in this series of short articles with random thoughts and insights from me, then you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
I may eventually refine and consolidate these pieces of advice into a short book, but for now, just want to share them with you in hopes that they may enrich your life in some way.
Proverbs 13: The Magic of Music
Did you know that the atmosphere of the earth is created in such a way as to produce ideal conditions for the transmission and propagation of sound waves? This means that God literally created the earth as the optimal medium for the transmission of sound waves. It also means that our planet is a perfect environment to enable us human beings to be able to communicate very effectively with one another—and also to worship God—using speech, music, percussion, strings, and other methods of sound wave generation. Not only that, but similar to the planetary design, our biological bodies were designed to praise God too. That’s why He gave us vocal cords to sing, hands for percussion, and bodies to dance and posture in worship.
As a matter of fact, King David was so enamored with worshiping God that he established the Tabernacle of David, which was basically a non-stop worship service with an orchestra of choirs, singers, and an extraordinarily diverse range of instruments. Furthermore, the word “universe” can be translated literally as “one song”—meaning that the entire world occurred as a direct result of the song of the Lord. As Psalm 19:1-4 says: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Based on all this, it should come as no surprise that one of the most natural happiness and emotion-inducing activities in the world for a human being is to make music and listen to music.
After all, music is the language God seems to speak quite passionately.
Do you have a “relationship” with music? If not, I recommend beginning by waking each morning to a favorite song, curated on some sort of favorite song playlist on Spotify. Two of my favorites are “Soaking Worship” and this collection of praise songs.
Proverbs 14: Rigidity vs. Creativity
Rigidity is the enemy of creativity. The human who is a rigid slave to their “wristwatch” is a slave to their calendar and a slave to their schedule, and this type of rigid adherence to time will eventually break that human’s psyche. Great men and women certainly can and do accomplish much via what might be interpreted as strict rigidity. But look closely, and you will find that many of those great men and women also include allowance for free, creative flow. Those that do not allow for flow tend to be unhappy people. Sure, they are impactful people, but they are also unhappy people. To be happy, and simultaneously impactful, you must have a certain strength of body, mind, spirit, and character, but you must not confuse that strength with unbending rigidity.
Just think about it: the tree that cannot bend will eventually break. So you must have flow and be able to respond with relaxed adjustments to the many curveballs and unanticipated stressors that life might throw at you. But this flow is not to be confused with “wobbliness” or “flakiness.” So ultimately, to be a creative person who makes maximum impact on this world with your life’s purpose, you must combine focused strength with creative flow and a willingness to allow for constant micro-adjustments in plans that otherwise may seem set in stone. It is the weak person who collapses or fears when they lose their calendar, schedule, or plan, or when life doesn’t quite go the way they had anticipated. It is the strong person who is resilient, who bounces back, and who allows such stressors to flow like smooth water off their back.
Want more? Release control. I tell you how here.
Proverbs 15: Give
No soul departed this planet and looked back lovingly at the storehouses of wealth and silos of grain that they hoarded. Riches amassed will rot and be forgotten once you die. People will not remember you for the many fancy cars you left in your garage, the size of your vacation home, the money in your bank account, or the meat in your freezer.
So give. Give, give, give it away. Throw dinner parties. Find hungry people. Check out church needs lists. Post extras on social media. Furthermore, that which you do not give away, you should ideally preserve for future generations and charities via a well-constructed living trust and/or charity.
Also, do not fall into the trap of generating and collecting toys, belongings, food, money, and the like, and subsequently placing yourself under the unnecessary stress of trying to figure out how to consume all your stuff. Instead, when faced with the conundrum of trying to consume your things before your things “go bad” or “rot” or “sit stagnantly” or “lose velocity” in a refrigerator, freezer, pantry, or bank account, figure out how to just give it away or pass it along by preserving it for future generations. Both options are good. But don’t just hoard for the sake of prepping for a rainy day.
If you think you’ve stored away too much, and that you should consider giving some away, then you probably have and you probably should. No one ever died happy with hungry neighbors and a silo full of grain.
What are you sitting on right now that you could share? What's holding you back from doing so?
OK, that's enough for today.
Your turn now.
Comment below with your thoughts on any of the three Proverbs above and A) let me know if you want me to keep writing these; B) tell me what you think I should name this series because I'm not enamored with the title “Proverbs” (but a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow, right?).
12 thoughts on “Proverbs: Part 3 – Music, Rigidity vs. Creativity & Giving.”
Keep writing about Proverbs!
Proverbs is a fine title, you just need write a proverb to summarize and start each section. If that sounds fun. Proverbs and Passages by Ben Greenfield. Cheers!
Ben I love this series and would welcome you to continue it! Re a name… perhaps something alone the lines of Precepts would be fitting. I’ve gained so much from reading Endure and Fit Soul. I think this series itself could become a working backbone for another book :)
Precepts is good. I like that!
Keep writing Proverbs
Title, Beat to the rhythm of your own Drum
Because before you know it will
I desire to be an ultra-grateful recipient of any one of your numerous, high-tech and out-of-my-price-range health/bio-hacking devices🤲🏽 Looking forward to whatever you choose to gracefully and generously gift/give to me…seriously‼️
Sending love, light, joy & health to you and yours🌈 I’m a long-time follower and supporter of your work and offerings🤗
Well Ben I must say that my first thought when reading about giving stuff away and not accumulating too much stuff was how much stuff you have or seem to have.
You have what appears to be an assortment of expensive gadgets and devices and equipment that many of us can’t afford.I certainly can’t.
I may have misconstrued things as I don’t follow you intently, but I do read much of what you post. And most of what you post is definitely worth reading and thoughtful introspection.
This is very interesting. Thanks for sharing
Thanks Ben for the inspiration! Just wondering what practical ways are you applying the “give away, letting go of” in your own life?
Yes, please keep writing these! I enjoy reading them every Sunday. Cheers mate!
At it’S most basic level Proverbs to me is like a divine common sense playbook that a father would give his child to live a good and holy life.
The only thing with God’s common sense is it’s the most uncommon thought process like pearls before swine.
Thanks for getting his word out there and allowing him to use your influence to speak the only words that truly matter.
Thanks for your incredibly insightful thoughts and wisdom about how to live your best life.. I thoroughly appreciate you sharing thoughts on exercise, nutrition, and exercising the mind. I’ve been following you for close to a year and really respect all the effort, time, research that you put into living your best life that you share with others. A great blessing! Thank you very much for all that you do.