I know it’s dorky and totally American, but I compared the events of today’s reading with the kickoff of a football game. I’m talking American football here and a throwback to the 1980s. My 1980s. And band. (I never went to band camp.) Marching band, to be precise. I’m sure I’ve typed of my marching band days in the past, but I’m going to do it again today in the present. Why? Because cymbals, lyres and harps. That’s why! I was thinking about how the chapters we’ve been reading have led us up to this very event. We read how David appointed officials and priests and even musicians, and it is during the crowning moment that the musicians are spotlighted. Like, aside from the actual Temple, the musicians lit up the show. Just think about if the music wouldn’t have been there. It would have been incredible, yes, but now think about the music and how much it adds to the whole atmosphere. Ahhhhhh, music! It’s simply life-changing. Don’t ever forget that. Even if you’re not musical, respect the music, pah-leeeeeze. So, why am I thinking about high school football games while I’m supposed to be focusing on what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me here? Well, for me, the two are connected. Just hang on. I’m getting to it. Every lesson comes with a story, right? So, as many of you know, I played the flute in band, but what some of you don’t know is that in my high school years, I was a flag girl. Oh yeah, one of those girls that carried the big flags during parades and half-time shows and waved them around in perfect harmony with the other flags when the music played. That was me, folks. We even had two uniforms, unlike the rest of the band members, who only had one. We had short white skirts and long red skirts. And to learn those routines, we practiced. Man, did we practice. Morning, noon and night, we practiced. I practiced at home with broom sticks, actual sticks and imagisticks. We practiced in each other’s yards, in the gymnasium and in the school parking lot – wherever 12 girls waving really long sticks could fit, we practiced there. And on top of knowing our flag routines, we also had to learn the music right along with the other band members because there were times, like during away games, that we didn’t get to be flag girls. But for home games, we were often a center of part of the pre-game and half-time shows. Well, we didn’t really have a pre-game show, but we did march to the football field from the high school parking lot, which was basically just across the street, to make a sparkly entrance. Then the football team would follow, and the cheerleaders and fans would form a huge line down the football field. And the cheerleaders would pick a couple lucky grade-schoolers to help hold the gigantic paper banner they made for the footballers to bust through as they thundered onto the field. As the fans made their way back to their stadium seats, they would keep right on clapping, the band would keep playing, the cheerleaders would keep cheering and not a single soul would sit or stop shouting and honking horns until kickoff, and our band instructor even had a sound effect for that. As soon as the kicker started running toward the ball, he’d grab the nearest trombone, point it to the sky and blast out an accompanying pitch that started with a deep low note and ended with a sort of duh-du-dah-duhhhhhh as soon as that kicker’s foot hit the ball, and that part didn’t end until the ball was either caught or hit the ground. Friday night football games. Yeahhhhhh. So, see why I am comparing football to the ushering in of the Temple? It was a fabulous celebration, especially the first home game of the season. We got to see all that hard work and practice pay off. And it wasn’t just us, either. Like I mentioned before, everyone had a role. The football players, the cheerleaders, even the crowd. Think if we did all that and no one was there to see it? Worthless. Well, it could be self satisfying, I guess, but it’s fun to “show off” a little sometimes. Not that I am saying the musicians of the Temple were show-offs, but boy, oh, boy, I bet they were beaming when they got to share all their talents and hard work with the people around them, but most importantly, for the God who lived among them! Gosh, Wally, I never thought of that! What a day. What a celebration. What a grand finale: “The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of God.” Amen.
Writing prompt: practice makes “perfect”
I had a coach that always reminded us that practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does make permanent. I just read that in a snippet of a self-motivational guide this morning actually. Ironic? God is giggling. What is something you’re good at? It can be absolutely positively anything. Remember that positively thing, too, because some of us are good at things we don’t recognize or don’t deem valuable, like cooking or organizing or “menial,” everyday tasks, as some would classify them. But those tasks are precisely what keeps the world in check. And we’ve all got ‘em. Write about yours today.