Growing up in a Christian household can give a kid interesting perspectives on music, and I, for one, sorted music away into four, neatly packaged categories: worship songs, Christian music, secular music, and piano pieces. I engaged with these forms of music in totally separate ways; there was the music I worshiped to, the music I listened to, the music I couldn’t listen to, and the music I made myself. And never once did I think of these forms of music as the same thing.
However, somewhere along the way, I began to find music that defied all categories. “Jupiter” from Gustav Holst’s The Planets is one classical piece that fit none of my preset notions of music and takes up a space entirely of its own. The joy and glory contained in this composition is nothing but pleasure to listen to, yet it still moves my spirit to worship. As a symphony, it is quite beyond a question of whether it is Christian music or not—it’s just music. And though I have certainly never played this piece myself, it has the power to capture my focus and attention as much as a piece that took hours and hours of practice to learn.
In many ways, musical pieces like “Jupiter” have taught me to recognize the glory of God in new and exciting places, and I have learned to care less about what context my music is being played in or what purpose I can use such music for. When I fully engage with excellent music like “Jupiter,” it creates a space in my soul for wonder and awe.