I will never forget one day I was sitting in choir practice at my high school and we were rehearsing the Hallelujiah Chorus. It was early in the morning, but we were giving it our all, and we had just reached the end of the song, where the constant chorus of "Hallelujiah! Hallelujiah! Hallelujiah!" builds and then suddenly comes to a stop, before one more final triumphant drawn-out "Halleeeeeh- loooooh- jiaaaaaaahhh!!!" Well, we had just reached that final dramatic pause, when suddenly a lone off-key voice was heard, belting out a half-asleep sounding, "Huuuuhhh-" The director ignored it and brought the rest of us in on cue for the final chords. However, once his arms dropped, his eyes and everyone else's turned to the corner where the awful noise had come from. Well, it was my older brother, who had been leaning against the wall half-asleep, but was now sitting up sheepishly, his face turning a few different shades of red as he realized his goof.
It was a bit embarrassing for him, but we laugh about it today, and I tell that story because I once read a quotation that I loved (and I really really tried to find it for this post but I couldn't! Grr!) that talked about our lives being like a symphony, and about how in every symphony there are musical rests. The rests are not put there on accident; they are there for a reason. Each one serves a purpose. Sometimes just a few instruments will sit out; other times, like in the Hallelujiah Chorus, there is a dramatic pause of complete silence. It is those moments of quiet that can have the greatest impact on the symphony as a whole. Yet often in our lives we see those moments as being empty and try to fill them, not liking the feeling of a void that they may bring.
The reason this has been on my mind lately has a lot to do with my pregnancy, and how sick and tired I've been. I have found myself frustrated that I have to leave so many things by the wayside, that my focus has simply been on getting through each day. I've felt out of touch with the normal "chorus" of my life, and I have missed the regular patterns and routines that make up my day-to-day symphony. My symphony has reached a point of rests, where only one or two instruments are playing, and the remainder are sitting out.
It has really helped me to recall that quotation, and to think of my life as a beautiful piece of music, with triumphant swells that decrescendo into gentle lullabies. What kind of a life would it be if every instrument played all the time, and there were no changes in volume or mood? We must learn to appreciate the rests in our lives for what they are- not a void or a mistake, but simply another contribution to the beauty and magnificence of the symphony as a whole. They may come in the form of illness, unemployment, or loss of a loved one, and they may bring a quietness that is unsettling. But with that quietness comes an awareness of the intricacies of the other instruments that you may not have heard otherwise, and of the other movements of the symphony that you may not have appreciated without the rest. Just as we could not appreciate the daylight without the nighttime, so we cannot possibly appreciate the sound of the music of our lives without the silence of the rests.
It is our Father in Heaven who is the Composer and Conductor of our symphonies. When we allow Him to artfully place the rests, then our symphonies will be complete, perfected, and truly beautiful works of art. He has said, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3:1) There will be a time for music, and a time for rest. Let us appreciate each rest as we allow the Lord to direct our daily symphony, and may we thank Him for every movement of the music He is making for us, for I know that in His hands are our lives made beautiful.
I thank Him for this opportunity to focus on the new life I have been given, and the chance to appreciate the blessing of having children, regardless of the trials that come along with it. I am ever grateful for my calling in this life to be a mother, and I know that this rest is a gift.