A Non-musician among Many Musicians
I was doing some reflection over my years of ministry and made a startling discovery. Many of my best friends in ministry were/are musicians. Not surprising, I come from a long line of musicians, but I am definitely not one. My grandfather used to sing me to sleep accompanied by his banjo (which now sets on the mantle in my den). All three of his children (my mother, my aunt, my uncle) were musicians at various levels. I have musical cousins. My only brother, spent his career in the gospel music industry. Because my father was a pastor, I was expected to sing in the children and youth choirs, as I grew up. I wondered why the directors always seemed to be disappointed when I arrived for choir practice. When I was a teen-ager, my mother, determined to make me a musician, bought me a trombone, and hired a private teacher (I really wanted a saxophone, but she insisted that it was not an instrument I could play in church). The first trombone lesson included the sounds made for each position on the slide. For the second lesson I proudly played a hymn, “Whispering Hope” for my teacher. He promptly quit, insisting he could not teach one who played by ear. The trombone went to the closet, never to be played again, ultimately to be sold in a garage sale. All that said, I love music, and as stated previously, have many friends and family members who are musicians. One told me that I could carry a tune, I just couldn’t release it. Another told me I just marched to a different tune. So I was thrilled to discover the quote by Henry David Thoreau, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” However, I do plan on singing in a choir once again. The book of Revelation describes the heavenly choir as follows: “Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels in a circle around the throne, as well as the living creatures and the elders. Their number was ten thousand times ten thousand—thousands times thousands— all of whom were singing in a loud voice: ‘Worthy is the lamb’ . . .” (Revelation 5:11-12, NET). Surely, in a choir of that size, I can sing my loudest and proudest, and not be heard by anyone – except probably God and my mother.