Music lessons

I’m on the Saturday morning music run again. Always a chaotic rush out the door and bundling into the car. Then a careful manoeuvring through cars and children to park on the school netball court. We enter a world of little voices singing, the toot of recorders, and flutes tiptoeing down hallways to a melodic background of violins with the occasional saxophonic expletive
After four years of this lark the reason for it all is becoming evident – squeaky notes from a miniature violin in the hands of a five-year-old have progressed to sight reading in the training orchestra for one daughter. The other is starting out on the recorder, when she can wrestle if off her little brother.

While skilled playing of music is the obvious goal in this exercise, there are other valuable lessons being learned along the way; perseverance, discipline, concentration amid distractions and humility are a few. We parents view the process of learning music as being valuable in itself, regardless of whether a master musician is the final outcome.

Musical training is training for other areas of life too. However, my daughters do not realize this – to them there is only the narrow goal of practising just enough to not look stupid at next week’s lesson.

I have often had a similarly narrow perspective on my daily grind: studying in order to pass an exam, passing exams to get a biochemistry degree, getting the degree so I can get a job in a lab. How did that lead to writing user-guides for a software company, finding a wife, being a father, growing in Christ?

My goals are not the same as God’s plans for me. Yet the goals I have attained must have at least been influenced by God. I am not sure whether any of my choices have ever been the best choice I could have made, but I am convinced that some of the dreams God has allowed me to pursue have been part of His plan not for the purpose of me attaining my dream, but to place me into life situations at the times and places of His choice so that God’s plans can be fulfilled. For example, had I not been living in a particular flat with a particular group of people 12 years ago, it would not have been my doorstep that my future wife turned up on asking if she could move in.

I wonder what God is planning for me that will use my current situation as the training ground? Am I learning anything of future usefulness for the Kingdom of God in my pursuit of my current goals?

The heart of man plans his way,
but the LORD establishes his steps.

(Proverbs 16:9 ESV)

How about you – what are the plans of your heart?

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