Ok, before I even get started, I am biased and in absolute infatuation love with this series, Nooma. It's seriously all I have been able to think about since I watched my first video. What is it? If I could really explain it, I would.
The name NOOMA comes from a phonetic spelling of the Greek word pneuma (πνευμα) meaning 'wind,' 'spirit,' or 'God's movement or agency.'
The Nooma that I am referring to looks like the brain child of Rob Bell, who is apparently a preacher in Michigan somewhere and had the presence of mind to create these great short films. Each one takes some type of spiritual concept and lays it out in a very thoughtful display with a mixture of his talking/preaching, some type of activity to accompany it and beautiful music. I have a favorite. It is such a favorite that I will have to buy it instead of borrow it. When I do buy it, I will probably watch it one day too many for Mason's taste. Ah, those of us freaks out in the world who love repetition.
Rhythm: Episode 11
Have you ever had anyone explain something to you so well and in such a way that suddenly your mind becomes clear, the clouds part, the angels sing, and for a moment you experience total and complete understanding? When I watched this the night before I left for Las Vegas last week, I had that kind of experience. I will not explain the entire episode because I want others to be intrigued and go and find it and watch and see if it speaks to that person in some way.
The central idea that has me hooked is this idea of being in rhythm with God. The knowledge that when we are playing in God's tune or along with his melody everything sounds, feels, tastes, moves right and we KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are playing in tune. Alternately, if we are out of tune, nothing works and we can literally feel the missed notes. I don't know why, but it gave me such a bigger picture of what I do every day. It puts my life into the musical perspective of a grand staff and suddenly every thought and every behavior is a series of notes on this sheet of music. This is my final piece offered up to God in the end. This symphony of mine, will it be a total wreck or will it have integrated fugal moments where I have stubbornly stepped out of line but then elegantly find my way back to the music of God's will? I see so many of those out-of-key and chaotic moments, but I have to believe that the whole piece is being written by a much more skilled hand than my own and it will be beautiful in the end. Right?
Of course, my mind tells me it's all more complicated than this...but is it really? Does it have to be? I think anytime something can be put into musical perspective it gives me another dimension of expression for that idea. I am somehow then able to understand it more fully and with more depth. His ideas in the context of this video short gave me such a bigger understand of God and my relationship.
What does this mean to anyone reading this? I don't know. It just makes me smile at my own life's soundtrack.
Post Script: I told my girlfriend about this series and this guy and she freaked out b/c he's apparently the head of some kind of controversial new movement that traditional church leaders have deemed unholy. Let me put the standard disclaimer. I do not subscribe to the overall beliefs of anyone one person who teaches. I find most of my moral questions are answered by the Bible directly... If this guy is a loon, then he's a loon. I still like the series and I'm not sorry for that. It makes me think, it's smart, it has character and appeals to the side of me that likes to learn about my religion in the process of worshipping. So having said that, if he turns out to be some alien and asks his followers to drink Kool-Aid, I standby the fact that I love love love this particular series and the way he explains stuff. There. We'll all know I was wrong to have written this if I get hit by a bus on the way home.