First performed in 1808, Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in C Minor is instantly recognisable from its iconic first four notes. It’s been copied in popular culture and repeated in disco versions, rock and roll covers and on film and TV.
But here’s the thing – the score doesn’t begin with a note, it begins with an eighth rest, a moment of silence. A tiny pause after the last members of the audience have taken their seats and focussed on what is about to begin.
In these days of Coronavirus our world is rapidly, even if temporarily, slowing down. While many are working harder than ever, millions of others find themselves locked-down with time on their hands. Perhaps in the wonderful symphony that is creation, God is inserting a pause that may remind us that we are human beings and not human doings.
Psalm 46 tells us, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ So, may we not waste these days of enforced isolation. Instead may we use them to find hope in God and breathe life into our souls.