Sunday, August 4, 2013

Weekend Worship—Stay in Step

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25

One of the things I looked forward to the most when I got ready to enter high school was being a part of the marking band. It was something I’d dreamed of doing.

My father is a classical musician, and taught at our local university. Every year, during football season, I loved sitting in the stands and watching the college band perform at half time. The music and the intricate designs that unfolded on the field inspired me, and made me yearn to join them on the field.

I remember the anticipation I felt when I finally entered high school and had the opportunity to be a part of the band. The summer ended early for band members because we were all required to attend a week-long summer band camp. It was there the freshmen were taught to march, and we began working on the programs we'd perform at the home football games that fall.

Once there, I found out just how hard it is to march in step with a large group of people. It became even more difficult when you added playing a musical instrument to the equation. 

I’ve never been overly coordinated, and marching in the band pushed the outer limits of my ability. Contrary to what some may thing, the key lay in paying attention to only one person, the director. I had to focus on the music, and follow the beat of his baton. If I got sidetracked by what everyone else on the field was doing I'd get lost and distracted.

Day after day, I fought unsuccessfully to master this skill. I was either able to play the right notes or stay in step, but not both. Occasionally I’d manage a couple steps, but soon would find myself marching to my own internal beat.  It was hard to ignore what came naturally and focus on following the director.

But I kept at it, spending hours each day that week learning to master this skill. It paid off. When school started, I was right there on the field with the rest of the band, successful.

Sometimes I my life feels a lot like marching band. I get out of step with God. Things happen in my life and in the lives of those around me. I get distracted and find myself following my own path, marching to my own beat trying to fix things.

It’s only when I look up and focus once again on the Director that the intricate designs of life begin to unfold and make sense. 


  1. Beautiful comparison, Edie. A great way to start my worship this morning--focusing on my Director. Thank you.

  2. It's great to be reminded we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and let Him direct our lives and leave the distractions behind.

  3. I'm laughing because I used to be a band director. I had several students like you. I can look at this from a different perspective. As band director, I knew that my musicians only had to focus on me and the routine would come together. Imagine how God feels when we turn our eyes to Him and follow His direction. I'm sure He smiles as He sees the big picture coming together for the people in the stands (because I wrote the program and knew what pictures the students created as they followed the directions).