Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Third Chair

Back in the day, clarinet was my instrument ... high school marching band and playing concerts in the gym. I wasn't very good. In all honesty, I loathed practicing, and when the new young band director came on staff, my upperclassman status didn't count for much. He held auditions. Shuffled things up a bit -- and me down a bit -- from first to third clarinet part. 

I quit band at the end of that semester, choosing instead to audition for the newly-forming flag corps. This kept me in the loop with marching band and football games, without the drudgery and expectations of clarinet lessons.

The flag corps was fresh and fun, requiring skills that came more naturally -- dance, movement, rhythm, precision. Practices flew by as we developed choreography and worked out the performance details -- like the "how to" of ditching our togas after a selection from "Animal House" under the Friday night lights.

No regrets.

As I listen to a podcast from The Allender Center [more] a quote opens a barren chamber in my heart:

"The most difficult instrument to play in the orchestra is second fiddle." 
- Leonard Bernstein

As I struggle in this season of grief and depression, when hopelessness comes in huge and unexpected waves, when drowning gruesomely promises to be easier than breathing, when it feels as though nothing will ever be fresh and fun God opens a barren chamber within my heart.

And I am reminded of the words from the bible that first captivated me:

... what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. [more]

I surrender. I will breath. I will wait. 


Photo: Miss Jacobson's Music blog "Music Stand Humor"

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