Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tootling My Own Horn

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

Ah. The bassoon. Who could ever create a finer sound and look so cool doing so? My dream, ever since I saw it in high school concerts, was to play one. But I never got a chance to learn it. Until...

Ellen and I searched for instruments to rent when I was in my thirties. She could find the ones she wanted: clarinet, flute. Instead, for twenty bucks, she bought a recorder.

Me? The owner of a music store told me I would have to buy bassoon. No one rented them. However, at a cost of $4,000, it wasn't an option. My daughter insisted on eating and having a roof over her head. (Demanding child). So I prayed, "Lord, if you want me to play the bassoon, You'll have to find one."

And guess what? Yep. He did. For ten bucks, I found one in a garage sale. And our band director at school had been a bassoon major. So now you say, "The rest is gravy. God willed it. Presto-virtuoso!"


A few things interfered:
  1. Abdominal surgery. It's hard to blow a bassoon with belly stitches.
  2. The said band teacher moved.
But a dear friend who majored in music at Crane alerted me to a professor who would give non-Cranies lessons. You repeat, "Abra-ka-tah-tah-tah."

No again.
  1. Seven years of traveling to Crane, produced a mediocre player.
  2. So mediocre, my teacher got a job elsewhere.
 So what's my point?

Throughout this time, I knew God had answered my prayers. I met my husband who told me about the Adirondack Players. They took me on and taught me to play with a band. A member there alerted me to performance opportunities at Crane. I expanded my skills.

I now play second bassoon in a community band, in addition to first (read: only) bassoon in two other bands. And lo and behold (it's my blog and I can be cliche if I want to), I've been sight reading music, playing fast and accurately and sounding pretty good.

It took many years. It took due diligence and no symphony would ever take me on as even a stage hand, but I'm playing the bassoon.

God answers prayers. Usually not the way we expect, but if we're faithful, we will walk in His perfect way.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fighting Snow-On-The-Mountain

Heb 12:15
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Crawling on hands and knees, I curse (quite Christianly) the ground cover I once thought innocuous. The former owner of my home had planted it in the garden, and I, like a fool, thought it pretty.

Today, with mature beds this weed, which I’ve recently learned is Snow-On-The-Mountain, has overrun my garden and threatens to attack the town of Malone.

(Believe me, I’m not really to blame for this take-over of Malone even I could have conquered the stupid green thing with a mind of its own had I tried when it was small.)

To eliminate it, I have”
·          Mulched
·          Sprayed
·          Prayed
·          Torn both it and my hair out by its roots.

Despite these measures, when I leave my pristine flower beds for a day, those little suckers have once more reared their ugly leaves.

In order to annihilate this invasive plant, I must root out every fiber of its root. A small section left in the ground will set out tendrils and multiply exponentially.

So, too, is the sin in our lives. At one time I thought sin was harmless. If you loved someone, then “love” him or her physically. Man created gossip as a diversion. After all, we didn’t always have iphones and ipads to amuse us. And of course, we understand, we are so much better than the rest of society—like those who make front page news (of the yucky sort).

Some sin can be conquered easily. Our spouse may have let himself/herself go, but we understand it’s better to not pursue our coworker.   Other sins are like my notorious Snow-On-The-Mountain. Their roots tangle about our being. We pray, fast, confess, cover the stupid thing, and still it pops up. 


What can we do?

Pray, fast, confess, read Scripture, and root it out. Unfortunately, some sin will always rear its enticing head—because it does, indeed, often beguile us.

But most important is to know sin’s nature. Don’t plant it. If we do, it will take over our lives.