Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuning to the First Chair

Last week the National Symphony kicked off their Americana Tour in Kentucky with a performance in Louisville. They performed just one night in the Ville before taking off across the state on this educational tour. I'm a lover of the arts - theater, music - if I had an unlimited budget, I'd be at the theater every weekend. But I hadn't seen the National Symphony perform before, nor had I seen the now budget-strapped Louisville Orchestra perform in years. I was pretty geeked at the opportunity.

They played Beethoven's 4th Symphony, all four movements, Copeland's Appalachian Spring and other selections. I was amazed that the conductor, Hugh Wolff, directed this talented group of musicians without music through Beethoven's Symphony. Wow. The highlight of the evening were the three curtain calls. I've been to rock concerts that didn't have three curtain calls. There was a Copeland reprise, a Sousa number, and, my personal favorite, My Old Kentucky Home. I could have listened all night as I'm mesmerized by watching all the different instrumentalists play and blend together to form beautiful music.

As I sat there in anticipation for the music to begin, all the orchestra members were getting settled in their places. From backstage, out walked who apparently was the "first chair", the Concertmaster (or in this case, Concertmistress). She came out and stood before this group of musicians and began to lead them in tuning to prepare for the performance. The first chair violin is in charge of tuning before all rehearsals and peformances. They follow her lead. Wherever she is, they tune to her. Oh the power of being the first chair!

Those that know me best are aware that I look for Jesus in everything....even at the Symphony. It reminded me that Jesus is my "first chair." When I start my day, before I begin to "perform" my daily duties, I need to "tune" to Him and be sure I reflect Him exactly, in as close of a perfect pitch as possible. He is my leader, just like that Concertmistress, and if I don't follow His Lead, my life is out of tune. But, if I making tuning to Him a priority, the music He can make through me can be a blessing in a world full of sour notes.

May I be reminded every time I hear an orchestra tuning up and I see the first chair leading the way, that Jesus is the music of my life. And I should follow Ephesians 5:1, "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." He has written the song of my life and as I follow His Lead, He will create a beautiful symphony through me.

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