Beliefnet
"You really love your music," she said.

It was early. I had no idea what the woman was talking about. I always joke that even though I am moving about, dressed for work and appear to be functioning, I don't wake up until 10 A.M.

"I saw you pull into the parking lot, and I could hear the music playing."

I started to laugh. I realized that I had been blasting my stereo in the car. I was listening to Michael Crawford. You may know him from "Phantom of the Opera."

This was a live recording of a concert he did, and there are a few songs that really burn in my soul. As I am driving down the road, I can often be seen singing at the top of my lungs.

But there is a point on this CD that most of you might not relate to. It is the closing music, a reprise of a song he did earlier.

"On Eagle's Wings."

Mr. Crawford thanks the crowd, takes his bow, and heads off stage as the music fills the auditorium. Of course, if you have ever watched a concert, you know there will be more at this point.

There must be an encore.

Whenever I listen to this part, I pull over. I stop what I'm doing and really listen, perhaps imagine and dream a little too.

I am a singer. Having finished a concert, I envision myself so fulfilled, so complete that I cannot ever imagine it could get better than this. It's like Heaven.

It was at that very point when I pulled into the parking lot. The music was so very intense for me that I could not shut off the car. I had to hear it end.

In a recent commercial, a young man does the same thing. His girlfriend gets out of the car and waits for him as he sits listening to the end of a song. He can’t leave before the music ends.

It was this very thought that gripped my soul afterwards. There have been times when I thought I should just quit, walk away from a project or a dream. I was feeling down, perhaps depressed, and I could not see the good in anything that was happening.

God creates, the world spins, days come and go--seconds, minutes, hours perfectly planned.

Perfect timing. Everything in tune with the cycle of life. A musical version of the beginning and ending of the world.

Each of us comes to the spot on the stage and stands before the world--and in perfect harmony, we play the song that is ours. The tragedy is when a life is cut too short, too soon. The sadness is hearing that someone has given up on their dream. Their song is never fully played, and the world suffers the loss.

What song is yours? What part do you play? Why would you think, even for a moment, that it is time for you to stop dreaming, believing, or playing your song?

Stay. The stage is yours, and the Maestro stands, baton raised, waiting.

The best part is ahead of you.

Don't go before the music ends.

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