I had the privilege to attend the symphony today – at no cost to me! I usually enjoy my time there, and find that my mind experiences a freedom and lightness that is quite relaxing.
I also believe that there are significant parallels between the design of an orchestra and how the Lord operates in our lives. Consider:
- There is one conductor. Only one. And he has something in front of him, called the score. The score is his complete plan, and lists all of the notes, time signatures, and accidentals for all of the instruments – nothing is left out. Remarkably, the conductor deeply knows and can recognize the “voice” of each instrument, and understands how to bring out the best in each musician.
- The orchestra is filled with lots of different instruments; while their purposes are distinct, their value is equal in the eyes of the conductor. Only a tuba sounds like a tuba, and a snare drum like a snare drum. The instruments have been lovingly created in both design and function to bring joy to both the musician and the audience, but ultimately, both the instrument and the musician exist to serve the conductor.
- Orchestras are divided into families, where instruments that look and sound similar are grouped together. Families provide us with support and accountability, and they are usually able to empathize with us because they may have experienced some of the same life challenges. Chances are that a violinist may be able to come alongside another violinist who is struggling with a certain section of a piece, rather than seeking guidance and direction from a bassoonist. After all, the bassoon is a very different instrument from the violin, and the opportunities for authentic empathy will be somewhat limited.
- Regardless of the family in which an instrument may be found, all of the musicians in the orchestra follow the direction of the conductor. It’s amazing to me that one person can direct the activity of such a large group, yet it is his very job to do so. The musicians only play when they are specifically instructed to do so, and they stop playing altogether when the conductor walks off the stage.
- Finally, the conductor remains calm and neutral throughout the performance. His assured demeanor lets the orchestra members know that he has the situation firmly in hand; if the conductor isn’t worried about the performance, then the musicians shouldn’t be worried about it, either.
I’ll stop here and allow you to draw your own conclusions. The only question I have for you is this: Who is the conductor in your life?
Here is my prayer for today: Dear God, thank You for the opportunity to head to the symphony today. You know how much I enjoy taking it all in – the instruments, the musicians, and the genuine delight that comes from experiencing well-performed, live music.
I also am so very thankful that You are the Conductor of my life. Forgive me when I try to clamber onto the podium with You; I can barely piece together the music in my own life, so I know that I’m not qualified to understand, interpret, and guide my own behavior (let alone the behavior of others). Remind me that I’ve been assigned to a family for a specific purpose, and to remember that I am the instrument You have created to accomplish Your good and perfect will. Therefore, I can trust in Your direction always, knowing that You are sovereignly orchestrating the music I make with others around me, in order to sustain a vibrant community of believers that blesses others and brings glory to Yourself. Thanks for this powerful image today! In Your name I pray, Amen.