In 1982, when I was fifteen, my mother landed me the job of after-school produce assistant at Foodtown, Howick. Because she was a respected staff member, I managed to leap-frog 'doing time' as a trolley boy or checkout operator. I went straight into a more sought-after specialised role, lurking down the back away from the incessant queues of customers. In the produce department we occupied the back left corner of the store. As we prepared veges for sale, and fed 'George' the giant waste disposal, we listened to some pretty heavy music suited to the tastes of my managers, who seemed old to me, but were probably little more than half my current age. It was here I discovered the early catalogue of ZZ Top, the Texan blues-rock three piece band. Let's just say I became conversant with most of their tunes before they were a huge international phenomenon.
I was browsing Netflix the other day, looking for something to watch as I ironed my shirts, and I found the documentary ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band from Texas (2019). I watched as I ironed, and found myself quite moved as I learned afresh the history of three dear friends who still work so well together as one musical unit. Drums, bass and guitar are the basic essence of a blues-rock band. There is a unique chemistry between the three. I was amazed to learn the band are recognised as the longest unchanged band line-up in rock and roll history, having formed in 1969 - over 50 years!! There is no ZZ Top without Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard. It's great music to accompany the trimming of cabbages and other mundane tasks.
Analogies and images of Trinity (Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer) God are fraught with theological danger, but a tight three-piece Texan band with a unique sound is as good as any other fumbling human picture. The mundane tasks of our lives should be accompanied by a certain music. The continuous breathed communion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the world is like a symphony that never ends. As we experience the ordinary things in our lives what is the soundtrack? May you know the presence of God as a sustaining song in your days.