Second grade was a loud year. Educators told my mother I was unwilling to sit in class, among other things, like my telling of music permeating through the bodies of those standing next to me. Medical professionals diagnosed me with ADHD (a "best guess" that, for me, was later "ah ha!'d" with Synesthesia). Every minute of every day since that diagnosis, even when she was cross, my mother affirmatively reminded me I had a gift. She placed me in the school's orchestra shortly after. I was seven years old when I met my first quarter rest.
As a musician, I understand the significance of rest in creating rhythm and meaning in a piece of music. Without them, the composition would lose its essence, becoming a monotonous stream of sound. The pauses between the notes give the music room to breathe, allowing the emotions to resonate and create an excited hope for what is to come. It's a sign to stop playing and it spreads itself over the entire music staff like a tear in paper. Holistically, one could look at those four spaces in the staff as heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). It is an abrupt and intentional tearing of oneself from motion. Every quarter rest surrenders to past notes (practiced or not), is mindful of the silence in the present moment, and moves toward the future continuing on the page.
In a culture that often glorifies constant motion and productivity, it is our inherent nature to forget to rest. We don't know how monotonous and shallow we've become spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally. We feel inadequate if we pause. We fear being left behind or labeled as unproductive. But what does the song of fear and perpetual motion sound like compared to the one of intention and surrender? When I embrace the quarter rest in my life, I find that small moment of pause and reflection is His voice. He promises that life continues and that He is present and sovereign. Heart, soul, mind, strength, it's His. I find rest in my measure because He is the Creator, the Songwriter.
The notes I play are His that He's written.
The rests I take are His that He shares with me.
He is every measure of my song.
Brittany M. White
Having had the pleasure these amazing years of turning people, experiences, feelings, and God's love into song -- I've grown quite fond of words. When not physically expressing them to those I love, you'll find them here.