Thursday, 13 May 2021

If only we could edit our lives too

MY Scottish father occasionally surprised us with a line of Robert Burns.

A favourite was:

O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us!

One of the many side-effects of the coronavirus pandemic is that this wish has been granted to a great many of us.

For months now we have been relying on Zoom, Facebook and other digital apps for church services, meetings and family quiz nights — we have become accustomed to seeing others’ postage stamps, visible only from the neck up.

We also see ourselves, which is a mixed blessing as no one looks on screen as they thought they did.

During lockdown there has been a proliferation of socially-distanced choirs and music groups, where participants record themselves alone at home and then someone collates the whole thing into a video.

We have been doing this in Ipsden as one of our choir members is a gifted sound engineer. He creates a master-track, on which he sings all the parts, plus separate tracks for each individual part, with very detailed instructions for breathing and phrasing.

Each singer records by wearing earplugs attached to the computer, for the master-tape and then we sing into a mobile phone, while filming ourselves at the same time. Not only do we see ourselves as others see us, we also hear ourselves and that is daunting and humbling.

However, thanks to the skills of our sound engineer, imperfections are ironed out and we finish up with a very satisfactory combined effort.

I wonder what it would be like if we could review our daily lives as a series of clips combined into one large video recording. Would the bits which we thought we had managed particularly well really look all that good? How would we feel about the things that we thought we’d got away with?

As with the choir and the master-recording, God has given us the score to sing our lives from but sometimes we simply cannot get it right, no matter how hard we try — and sometimes we don’t even want to try.

On balance, we probably don’t want to see ourselves as others see us, and still less as God sees us, but our kind and loving God is ever patient.

We must pray that when all the clips of our day are brought into one collage, the overall effect is more or less satisfactory — and then we can refer to the guidance issued by God and start all over again next day.

More News:

POLL: Have your say