This is the text of this morning's Pause for Thought on the Chris Evans Show on BBC Radio 2. Guests in the studio were Caro Emerald, Sally Lindsay (Mount Pleasant, Coronation Street), Matt Bellamy (Muse) and Mark Webber (Formula One) – inevitably, there are references to them or their work smuggled into the text.
I could do with a bit of Aussie Grit right now because … I am in the same room as Caro Emerald. Apart from buying her albums when they came out, I actually got to see her and her excellent band in Leeds a few months ago. It was brilliant and even made me want to dance.
That is not a pretty sight.
So, I didn't.
But, I love live music. I think I am probably the only bishop in the Church of England who has been arrested for busking on the Paris Metro. I was only nineteen or twenty at the time, but I still wear the badge with pride.
The thing about live music is that every performance is totally unique. It can never be done exactly the same way twice. The music itself can be played around with, and the audience plays its part in creating – or ruining – the atmosphere.
I guess this is what acting and Formula One and music have in common: you watch or listen partly to see if anything goes wrong. I remember reading a paper about why people watch other people climbing up cliffs – and concluding that it is partly to see if they fall off. There is always the potential for a live performance to go wrong as well as wonderfully well.
This 'living on the edge' bit is what gives performance its power, isn't it?
I think there are some people who are terrified of this. Play it safe, keep everything under control, make sure there are no surprises: all that sort of thing. But, that attitude can sometimes be rooted in fear, not adventure or excitement.
Now, this goes beyond music or acting or driving fast cars. I think it goes to the heart of whether we see life as something to be grasped or tamed. When Jesus asked people to follow him, I think he got this: don't come with me if you want to keep everything safe and tame; it's going to be an interesting ride and it might go wrong; are you up for it?
So, Caro, I hope the deleted scenes on the cutting room floor will not be the boring bits of life, but expose the undisclosed desires that are awakened by the muse that fires our imagination.