Over the years, there have been times when I’ve worried about my health or other concerns. Then I stop to think of someone who had a positive influence on my life or affected my life in a special way. As I reach for pen and paper and begin to write the letters, my focus turns away from myself and I forget about my worries. Writing letters to those people makes me feel better and, from my prior experiences, I know my words encourage them.
Gathering my stack of books, I headed for the counter. Once again I had exceeded the number of books allowed at one time and I was struggling with what to put back. It took me another ten minutes to decide before checking them out. As I did, I wondered if I’d chosen wisely, if the books I’d put back would still be there when I returned
Like a good beginner, Jean spent hours in practice, in addition to orchestra rehearsals, to learn bowing and fingering. Within a year, she felt comfortable with the instrument – just in time to enter an amateur talent contest at the school. “Of course,” she remembers with a smirk, “I didn’t expect to win.”
“Humph!” I thought grumpily. “I bet you’ll be glad when you have a knee replacement and get out of that chair!” Then I went outside into the sunny parking lot, where I heard a loud, clear, and joyful voice singing. It flowed from the senior woman as she quickly moved her feet like pedals and scuttled her wheelchair across the parking lot toward her vehicle.
Like fire and gasoline, Ken’s negativity and my optimism can be a volatile mix. Yet, we have been married for more than a quarter of a century. The occasional eruptions and some long periods of unrest we have withstood are offset by the joy we share.
Music is for worshiping God. As the psalmist proclaims, “For this I will extol you, O Lord, among the nations, and sing praises to your name” (Ps 18:49). But such praise is not only reserved for humankind. All creation sings to God. “Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds! . . . Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!” (Ps 148:10, 150:6).