This morning, I enter the elementary school's gym to retrieve my daughter for her dentist appointment. It falls right in the middle of her very first band practice. I sneak in, and I'm overcome with the scene.
The fourth and fifth graders--at their first band practice--do the best they can. It's loud, squeaky, but actually beautiful. It's orderly. My daughter holds her flute with the other flautists, and as I watch her play, it seems like she's truly separate from me now, truly her own girl.
I never played a musical instrument. I never once read a piece of music or obeyed the ethereal dance of a conductor's hands.
Now the conductor holds his baton in a particular way, and the children stop their music. Before I motion for my daughter, I hear this:
"You have to watch me so closely that you'll know if I'm telling you to stop or go, quicken or slow. I won't use words, so you have to watch my hands so closely so you'll know what to do."
I'm standing there, full of delight, thinking about the ways God directs the tempo and sound of my life. When He doesn't speak, I watch for the hand of God and that ethereal dance that tells me to stop or go, quicken or slow. The Holy Spirit always seemed musical anyway, a Conductor indeed.
Later, on the way to the dentist, I ask my daughter how she manages to look at her music and the conductor at the same time. What an impossible focus on two things at once!
"You learn," she says. "You keep glancing."
I keep glancing: the music and the Music. I want to be part of this grand performance. I want to notice and obey the gestures of a God who leads.
That little band made me so happy I wanted to cry! Do you have memories of elementary school music?