(2 Timothy 4:2b)
I know that
some of you have just started playing your own special musical
instrument in school. How do I know that? Well, believe me, I have
heard the sound of a certain french horn coming from Mitchellís
room a lot lately. Boy, have I heard it a lot! Have any others of
you begun playing a musical instrument?
I brought along
my very first instrument, which I began to learn how to play when
I was in fifth grade. Itís called a cornet. Thatís right, itís
like a trumpet. When I started out, I wasnít very good. It took
me a long time to learn how to play it. Along the way, my music
teacher encouraged me to change to a larger instrument with a
bigger mouthpiece. I guess she figured I had a big mouth. It is
called a baritone.
It was fun at
first, learning how to play the cornet and then the baritone. But,
you know what? I got tired of it very quickly. After a while I
didnít want to do something that my teacher told me I needed to
do. What was that? Correct! I didnít want to practice. Iíd
rather go out and play, or watch TV, or anything else.
Unfortunately, if you want to learn how to play an instrument you
have to practice it. Thatís how you become a good musician.
practice, practice. If I had a dime for every time my parents told
me I needed to "stick with it," I would have become
rich. Thatís true of everything. If we want to become good at
something, we have to stick with it. Itís called
"persistence." Thatís true for learning how to do
something well. Itís true also for continuing to do something
well. I became a very good baritone player. But I havenít played
much since I was in college. I can still play, but not like I used
to - because I didnít stick with it.
By the way, when
I was a boy scout I was the bugler for my troop. Every morning at
scout camp Iíd wake everybody up with "Reveille." I
wonít hurt your ears by trying to play it right now, because I
donít think Iíd do very well. After all, I havenít stuck
with it since then. However, why donít you pray with me a
"wake up" prayer, before you head off to choir practice.
God. Thank you for waking us up today. Wake up our voices so that
we can learn how to sing, using the "musical instrument"
you made in our vocal chords. Help us to stick with it. Thank you
for Miss Marian and her helpers, who are very persistent in
teaching us every week. In Jesusí name we pray. Amen.
(over the offering)
offerings reflect our faith in you. We confess, though, how "dim
our faith may be" at times. We all struggle to stick with
it, to be persistent, to keep on keeping on. Help us. May your
promised Holy Spirit keep working on us, especially when it comes
to the living out of the faith that you have planted in us. This
we pray in the name of the One who stuck with us all the way to
the cross, and who will keep on keeping on to the very end, and