A Rush of Blood to the Head!
(Dictionary definition: a sudden attack of wild irrationality.)
I have always been prone to it. Being a Baptist preacher didn’t help. When Pauline and I married, Pauline told me I had to calm down my Baptist ways. So my preaching became more subdued. But outside the pulpit the rush of blood to the head persisted. After such episodes I say things like, “I don’t know why I did it. I won’t do it again.” But, I do!
And then there is dancing. I can’t dance – well not any formal dance. However, sometimes the music produces a rush of blood to the head and I must move.
That is what happened in the cavernous Regent’s Park Hotel coffee lounge last November. We had just about completed our mercy dash to Malang, Java, to care for our injured daughter-in-law, Effie. In an empty restaurant some teen agers (I thought) started playing beautiful music, the very songs I had enjoyed for years, and suddenly I was dancing and quick as a flash my 8-year-old grandson, Logan joined. In that empty restaurant, the two of us created quite a spectacle. I fear that like me, my grandson Logan has the same vulnerability to the rush of blood to the head.
It was all too much for Pauline. She left the two of us wildly applauding and gyrating.
Anyway, that led to us, my wife Pauline actually, to invite Colourfull (the band) to New Zealand. That’s history now – Colourfull have been and gone. But the ripples from their visit still buffet me.
The idea of bringing a band from Java made no sense at all. There was no way I could justify it. All I could do was to think back on the night in the empty restaurant and Pauline’s impulsive invitation. We have been involved in mad-cap schemes before and some had worked out way better than I could have ever imagined. I could only hope that this one would. In addition, I had a deep feeling bringing them to New Zealand was not just about music!
Many of my friends thought, “He’s really flipped this time!”. However, being very polite and well-brought-up they never said a thing. The subject was avoided and we always had plenty of other things to talk about. Nonetheless, I could feel their disapproval.
What has come from the visit of these six young people from Java? They certainly brightened our ‘Talk To Me’ conference. It wasn’t just their music. It was their full involvement with everything and with everybody that impressed us and this was expressed in the participant’s evaluations. But there was more than that.
Peter McClure who inadvertently became their chief sponsor, said this after meeting them. “It is rather like a concentrated, compressed sponsorship except not of children but of young adults. Their experience of hospitality, their encounters with Christians and Christian worship (the band members are Moslem), being around our Centre and living in our culture will have an impact on them. Who knows what fruit this visit might bring in the future.?”
I agree with this assessment. These intelligent, well educated young people are now looking at life in a different way. I read it daily in their emails. I quote from an email I received yesterday. “I have started applying for jobs. Jobs that fit my abilities. Jobs that can benefit the world and others. As you suggested Stan, I will look for work that will help children. And I will work and pray to bring myself closer to God”.
What has it meant to me? Imagine this, it is expected that a man of my age should be preparing for the retirement-home and old-people-only activities, such as bowls and bingo. I was puzzled as to why these young adults were looking at me with appreciation and constantly asking me questions about life, love and faith? I have read that in ancient China, experiences of this kind were considered the crown of life. That is why the Chinese sages nominate life over 70 as the golden years. The young people from Java want me to live longer, do more and talk with them often. This is their gift to me and I am very grateful.
The photo at the head of this piece is of small children at the final performance of Colourfull in our Church. When Colourfull played these same children began to dance. The idea was that the adults should dance, but most did not – too shy? (not me – rush of blood to the head etc). However, unprompted the toddlers danced. And then they positioned themselves on the steps and there they stayed. Why did they do this? Could it be, they had a sudden rush of blood to the head? As they get older, they will be taught how to control this impulse.
At the Night Markets as Colourfull played the today’s mega-hits, young people walked by expressionless, pretending they did not hear. They really have the sudden rush of blood to their heads impulse well under control.
Years ago, when I was learning about counseling we were taught to ‘trust your gut’. The meaning being we should pay attention to our hunches, insights that come to us that are not the result of rational thought. Now I don’t think that these are the same as a sudden rush of blood to the head – but they might be related.
Most commentators believe that Paul’s poem of praise (Phillipians 2.6-11) probably came as a sudden rush of blood to the head. Worth a read!