My daughter is learning to play the violin. In a month or so, when she starts school (3rd grade), she will be in the orchestra. The other day, when she didn't feel like practicing because "it's too hard and it doesn't sound good," I tried to encourage her. I explained to her that it will be great when, one day, she can be a part of something much bigger than herself. There is something so rewarding about playing a small part in something really big.
Learning the violin is not easy. You start by plucking the strings--not even using the bow. When you do begin with the bow, you practice on a little block of rosin before you finally put the bow to the strings. It's a little monotonous and, at this point, the sound is pretty excruciating. But this is the necessary beginning for my little violin player.
This whole lesson reminded me of Ephesians 4:7-16. The lesson I was trying to teach my daughter is also a lesson I need to learn myself. Back to my little violin player…
One day, as she plays her little part, she will contribute to the violin section. And the violin section, along with the violas, cellos and bass, will form the string section, which will join with the woodwinds, brass and percussion to form a symphony orchestra, which will play magnificent works of art... something one little violin could never do alone. And yet, the orchestra would not be complete without the little violin. She is a gift to the orchestra, as is every other instrument. The inspiration and message of each piece of music the orchestra plays would not be the same if any of the instruments were missing. An online devotional, The Loop, said it this way,
“I write notes no one before has heard. I am the orchestra, each instrument, the voice of every song. I sing for you. I dance with you. I feel the swell of each beat, each rise and fall. It is not mysterious to Me why you are precious, beautiful, captivating, stunning—all together so bright. You bear my image. You light a room because you bear MY fragrance, MY frame, MY voice.
Yes, I hear my voice in you.
Sing now, daughter [son], the song I teach you to sing—the one I’ve already taught you. You’ve forgotten some notes and some you have yet to discover. Come now, the orchestra is waiting. Your music needs to be played.”
So, learn your instrument--even if you're still at the string plucking stage, or practicing with rosin, or learning to put the bow to the strings with lots of squeaks and painful noises. Keep playing, practicing, growing, because you are part of an intricate, multifaceted and mysterious plan that no human mind could conceive or facilitate. Never quit playing your part because you are a gift to the complex orchestra being directed by the Almighty, Eternal Conductor. Play your heart out for Him. Give your gift to Him. Be a gift to the orchestra, to the church, to the world. Play little violin, play!