Maddie started playing the oboe last summer. She’s already come a long way. At first she could barely squeak out a noise. When she did make a sound, I could’ve sworn she had bagpipes in the basement. Now she’s playing songs that are not only recognizable, but enjoyable.
I glanced through the program. Twinkle Stars. Jingle Bells. Frere Jacques. It seems like only yesterday Taylor was playing those same simple songs. Now she’s in the high school marching band and gets to play cool songs like Eye of the Tiger and Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Her only complaint is the unflattering wardrobe, although I like to call it “character-building clothes.”
The auditorium grew quiet as the conductor stepped onto the platform. In no time she was conducting her little heart out. First she set the tempo. Then she gave signals to show how and when the band should play. But there was only one problem. Very few students bothered to look up at her. Every kid focused on their own music right in front of them.
They also weren’t listening to one another. The clarinets overpowered the flutes. The trumpets drowned out the trombones. I could see the conductor wanted certain sections to back off and play a little softer. But everyone just kept blasting out their own parts.
It occurred to me that sixth grade band was much like the early years of my marriage.
A few years after Curt and I were married, we began to realize something. Marriage was actually hard work. The main problem? I focused on myself. He focused on himself. We really didn’t listen to one another, because we both had our own agendas. As you might guess, this became extremely frustrating. Honestly, I felt like quitting.
And that’s when we did something we’d never done before.
We looked up.
God had never been a major part of our marriage. But in desperation, we invited him to lead us. We looked for His direction instead of our own, and we finally started doing what He told us to do.
“Okay, back off now. You’re coming on a little strong. You need to be a little softer here.”
Everyone goes through difficult times in marriage. If you’re experiencing that right now, can I just encourage you?
There will come a time when you’ll want to quit. Don’t do it. It can get so much better than this.
I’m glad we didn’t quit. Our marriage isn’t perfect, but it is a great blessing. I believe the best is yet to come. Especially if we stay committed, listen to one another and most importantly, keep our eyes on our Conductor.