Have you ever experienced anything truly amazing that God has done or created? Like, have you ever been to the beach and looked out at the ocean and thought about how big it truly is? And in that moment did it make you feel small? And make you realize how big God is and how small we are? Isaiah 40:12 says that “God held the oceans in the palm of his hand”. Wow! He’s so big; he has held the oceans in his hands. Unbelievable!
Or have you ever looked up in the sky on a cloudless night sky and looked at all the stars and thought about how big the universe is? Or the fact that God made the whole universe and yet he still cared enough to make you? Those aren’t just amazing moments. Those are TRANSCENDENT moments. Transcendence means something outside of our senses. It’s beyond what we can see or hear or taste or smell or touch. And transcendence is something that we all long for.
In 1943, Psychologist Abraham Maslow published his findings on human needs. If you ever took a psychology class in college, you probably got to study his findings. He believed that man’s greatest need is “self-actualization”. Basically to “be all you can be”.
But what most people don’t know is that in 1971 he had to change his final analysis because he found that his test subjects weren’t satisfied with their own accomplishments and in reality wanted something greater than themselves. What they wanted was to experience moments of transcendence. And just like them, each one of us wants to experience something greater than ourselves. And there’s a reason for that.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says “God has placed eternity in the hearts of men.” Just think about that. God has placed a piece of eternity into your heart and mine. A piece of forever is in you and me. That piece of eternity makes us long for more out of life than what we can see or hear or taste or smell or touch. We have this longing to interact with something or someone greater than ourselves. That longing is for God! I believe there are moments in life when we do interact with that piece of eternity inside our hearts and we connect with God and He connects with us in a way that is stronger and deeper than we experience in everyday life. We get to have TRANSCENDENT moments with Him.
I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoy music so much. Music stirs that piece of eternity within my heart and connects me to God. It transcends what I can truly understand. In those moments, God comes near, and that longing in my heart gets filled. The same is true for you as well. When we listen to music or play music or participate in worship, that piece of eternity in our hearts gets stirred and we get to experience transcendent moments with God. We get to experience His presence. And that’s what makes music and worship so special. His presence!