God at the Jimmy Buffett Concert
Where have you witnessed The Eternal, Loving, Powerful Presence we call God today? This Presence is Everywhere; have you acknowledged It? Celebrated It? Spoken of It? In the midst of all of the crazy, ugly, violent media reports, have you stopped to see that your life is filled with a Presence so generous that you can smell Its Grace and can’t help but scream out “I saw God today?”
My daughter surprised me with Jimmy Buffett tickets as an I love you mom gift. The two of us followed a sea of parrot and shark skin hats on grey and balding heads toward the concert’s location … The MGM Grand concert venue. As I watched groups of friends wearing matching themed shirts, couples holding hands, women dressed as mermaids and men as sharks, I felt a Joy well-up around me. Love was present. Love of music, love of shared memories, love of each other, love of playfulness. In line we overheard people recount the many Jimmy Buffet concerts they’d attended over a forty year period. For us, it was our first maiden voyage.
What my daughter didn’t know when she surprised me with the tickets was the first night I’d met her father we listened and sang to Margaritaville together; one of Jimmy Buffet’s most popular songs. With her invitation, I tingled as I was aware of the full circle moment that existed unbeknownst to her. I named it a God moment.
Jimmy Buffett comes out on stage with ten additional musicians. Many of the singer/dancers are from different islands. I witness the global flavor of the people performing and I realize the physical representation of the Wholeness and Beauty of God that shows up in many different forms. Behind the musicians is a jumbo screen with photos projected upon it so we are on or near the water accentuating each song.
A Pirate Looks at Forty begins and the background is a full moon rising over an evening ocean; an experience that I relive breathlessly. The ocean to me is Holy. I sigh. More God. The lyrics begin … “Mother, mother ocean, I have heard your call …” tears begin to glisten in my eyes as I feel my parentage as a mysterious lapping wave. God. Soon follows the line “Yes, I am a pirate, two hundred years too late,” the instrumental, pitch, and the blending of these words resonate with the cellular memory of living on or near the water and being fed, housed, nurtured, and loved by this form of Presence. The salty water within my body responds to the physical knowing that the sea and I share same properties.
Half way through the concert Jimmy Buffett says “I’m often asked I get tired of performing my songs over and over again.” He said my answer is always the same, “these aren’t my songs, they belong to those who love them.” Aaaah. His awareness of how Music used him as a form of service refreshed me. Later he’ll say, “thank all of you for loving my work so that I can have the best summer job in the world.” Gratitude. Appreciation. He smiles as he continues to sing through the last song of the night.
God. God. God. Everywhere Present. All of the time. As I witnessed The Presence I was aware that I could have placed my attention and perspective elsewhere and had a completely different experience of the evening. This knowing magnified the magic as I realized it was an Inner-Outer and Outer-Inner experience.
Where have you seen God today?