Thursday, June 25, 2009

Daily Guideposts

It was my usual end-of-day confession of failure. Letters I hadn't written, phone calls I'd intended to make, opportunities for kindness I hadn't seized upon. God must be as tired of hearing these bedtime laments, I thought, as I was of making them.

That's when some drawings I'd seen that morning popped into my mind: a two-page spread in a volume of cartoons in the dentist's waiting room. There were no captions, just thirty black-and-white drawings tracing a day in the life of a cymbal player. The musician wakes up, shaves, dresses, eats breakfast, studies his score. Finally he puts his cymbals in their case, travels to the concert hall and takes his place in the percussion section of the orchestra.

He waits quietly through most of the program. As his time to perform approaches, he seizes the cymbals and stands up, breathlessly watching the conductor's baton. The big moment comes! He clashes the cymbals together, one ringing, reverberating, perfectly timed note.

His allotted role accomplished, he leaves the stage, puts on hat and coat, travels home, enjoys dinner, yawns, puts on his pajamas, brushes his teeth, and goes to bed supremely content.

The cymbal player has done the one thing required of him. And was I, I wondered, remembering that picture-story, so capable and important—so central to God's plan—that He asked more of me? Maybe in the multiplicity of each day's events there was a single assignment for me. Maybe if I watched the Conductor more closely I would discover what it was.

Faithful Lord, what one thing have You for me to do this day?

This essay by Elizabeth Sherrill appeared in Guideposts magazine’s online newsletter.

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