Tonight we drove to Eugene to watch our daughter Hayley. She was named to the all-state middle school band, and they offered a concert tonight. It was fun to hear her-the band she played with was quite good. After her concert, we stuck around for the orchestra, and the boys choir, and the girls choir.
I had a realization. Fairly obvious once it struck me, but then again, I didn’t do band or choir growing up, so this is new stuff for me. People who love and excel at music take different paths. At the middle school stage, they are all in there together. It starts weeding out in high school, and people put themselves on a track-the “performance” track and the “teaching” track. They overlap, of course, but as I watched these gifted middle school music teachers, the epiphany came. They loved what they were doing. Obviously, they had played with much higher caliber musicians in their lives, but they had chosen to spend day after day with middle school students.
The boys choir leader was the one who helped me connect the dots. He was totally into it-taught the boys some choreography, and he did it right along with them. What he had chosen for his life was the challenge and the joy of trying to instill a lifelong love of music in as many middle schoolers as possible. Creatively, he probably at times longed for more than he got. But without him, and thousands of other teachers like him, we don’t get Pavarotti or Yo Yo Ma or Itzhak Perlman.
I wonder how I could improve, in my life, at instilling a lifelong love for God in others?