Monday, July 1, 2013

Missing music

Psalm 57:7-8 (NIV)

My heart, O God, is steadfast,
   my heart is steadfast;
   I will sing and make music.
Awake, my soul!
   Awake, harp and lyre!
   I will awaken the dawn.
I miss making music. Specifically, I miss being in a school band with my absolute best friends, which was my distinct privilege from basically the moment I picked up a pair of drumsticks in fifth grade until I graduated college. I have been in bands and orchestras since, and even got paid a few times for the privilege, but having strong bonds with many of the other musicians in the ensemble adds a layer to the cooperative nature of music making that simply puts the whole experience over the top.

It should come as little surprise that the growing number of children in my life has helped squeeze out the opportunities to play (though as noted before, I did play a symphony concert the night our first child was born). I wasn’t ever all that good, either, so any more my skill level is a bigger impediment than the paucity of free time. And there are plenty of new things I enjoy that do fit into my schedule — photography, regular exercise, writing for writing’s sake, to name a few — that were not regular activities during the peak of my musical days. So it’s not as if life isn’t well rounded.

We’re blessed to belong to a church with a remarkable music program, and Kristie and I have been involved with handbell choirs for several years. It’s a great activity for us as a couple, especially given how our relationship history is completely intertwined with our college music department. So I do have the chance to make music, and even on Sundays when we’re not performing chances are good I’ll be able to sing a great hymn or listen to a powerful choir or soak in wonderful contemporary worship music.

So it’s not a lament, just an observation: I miss making music. Marching band, concert band, the college drumline, orchestra and so on, some of the best and most memorable times of my young life involved making music and the people with whom I shared the experience. Probably what I miss as much as the music is the time spent with those dear people. Maybe I’m just nostalgic for childhood.

Either way, I will relish any opportunities that do arise. I won’t awaken the dawn, and I don’t know the first thing about strumming a harp or a lyre. But I am thankful for the role music has played in my life and hopeful it will continue, at least in some small fashion, as long as my skill allows.

A prayer for July 1:

Lord, thank you for my creative talents and the outlets to pursue them. Please help me raise my children to be well rounded, to appreciate the skills with which they might be blessed and to remember to always be thankful for you who made them. May we all be ever grateful for the opportunity to enjoy life. Amen.

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