or·ches·trate [awr-kuh-streyt] verb
1. to compose or arrange.
2. to arrange, especially by means of clever or thorough planning or maneuvering.
I went to an orchestral concert last night. I enjoyed everything about the concert. It sounded amazing (especially to my untrained ears!), I had a few giggles over silly things with friends, and I was even able to relax and let the stress of the day pour off my shoulders.
Going into the evening, I knew I was tired. I had had one of those days that ended with the reminder that I always need more of the Lord and less of the world. So, I closed my eyes during the first number and asked the Lord to meet me there. I didn’t know what I was expecting, really, except that I know the God that I follow is a relational God and He will always meet us where we are and with so much more grace than we deserve.
I opened my eyes and enjoyed the concert all the way through the intermission…then as we sat down to listen to the next number (act? song? performance? not sure…), my mind began down a thought process that brought me to these beautiful reminders:
1. As part of the Lord’s orchestration in our lives, it is our *simple* duty to be obedient to the sheet music placed before us so those hearing the notes of our lives will be in awe of the Composer of the music we play.
I watched the beauty of the strings moving in unison across the stage. I saw the percussionist keep rhythm in the back. I felt the music within my very being as it overwhelmed the room and couldn’t help but stare at the beauty before me. I couldn’t help but be in awe of the composer who wrote this beautiful music and wonder if anyone else saw past the beautiful instruments and people on stage and were thankful for a man who may have lived hundreds of years ago for creating this stunning masterpiece.
2. As part of the Lord’s orchestra, we are to take our cues from the Composer before us. Read His movements, know what He wants us to do at any given time, study under Him and trust that He will lead us through the numbers with ease.
As I looked on, the conductor stood in the middle of the stage with ease and moved his arms in motions that these musicians understood. To myself, an unversed onlooker, they were just pretty movements that looked like hand-dances. To those playing on stage, they were the cadence of the piece before them and the reason they were able to sound so beautifully in step together.
They were obedient to the conductor before them. They had someone to look at, to follow, to watch…and they obeyed. They not only obeyed, but they proved during this performance, that they studied under this man and were able to do what he wanted them to do.
3. As a member of the Lord’s orchestra, we are performers not meant to take glory for ourselves but to point to the glory of the One who’s orchestra we are in.
Each musician on that stage wore black. Each person had an instrument that joined together to create beautiful sound. Each one of these people stood and offered respect to the conductor when he can on and off the stage and each one played with he was called to play and stayed silent and motionless when they had to. They weren’t up there as a soloist. None of them had their name highlighted in the fliers.
And, while each performer last night should have been given a spotlight because of the beautiful work they did, I was reminded that when I am a player in the Lord’s orchestra, I should never desire that spotlight.
Or, even though the conductor doesn’t technically have an instrument in his hand, I am reminded that without Jesus and His teachings and guidance in my life, I would be lost and the noise that comes from every action I take and every word that comes from my mouth would be as white noise if it weren’t for the Lord’s guidance showing me when to act, when to move, when to speak…when to play.
While the composer of the music from the concert is probably long dead and not given enough appreciation for the brilliance of his work, I think of those times that the Lord is not given enough credit for the work He does in my life and how He should receive all glory for the composition of His notes that create a beautiful symphony of grace, love, and mercy every day I live on this earth.
My performance, with the instruments He gives me to learn and under the teachings He has me study and the practice He asks of me, should only…ever…always…bring honor to Him.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Eph 3:20-21
“for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” - Phl 2:13 NKJV