Humming Puccini in my Head

A. Sumner
Puccini is known for writing souring, gliding melodies.  He gives his sopranos wings.  Their lines gently dip and float back.  Everything on purpose.  Everything to sound like ribbons in the sky.

But, underneath, the accompaniment is pushing and pulling, building a strong infrastructure.

You know the idiom of the duck, how it's feet are paddling like crazy, but on top of the water it is cool as a cucumber.  You know the saying that behind every good CEO there's an organized administrative assistant who is always one step ahead.  Where would the best chefs be without amazing sou chefs?

Some of us jump from line to line.  One day we are the prima donna; one day we are the janitor who sweeps up after the show.

But, most of us get lives where the sweeping is the normal.  We are uncelebrated, unrecognized, even unnoticed.  No standing ovation here.

On those days of discouragement, when we forget the big picture, when we forget the "why", let's remember a couple of things:

ONE.  We are all part of a bigger picture.  Even though I have been the teacher of our kids' church program, it's my husband who sets everything up and tears it all down again.  By the time church starts, he's usually sweaty and exhausted.  Without him and our other church set-up crew, I would not be able to use my gifts. Our different gifts go hand-in-hand.  I also need Jesse to order the curriculum.  If I count the people who produce that curriculum  - as well as our aids and the parents who get the kids dressed in the morning - easily over a hundred people have something to do with our kids' church.  It's exactly what Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 12.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. (ESV)

TWO. We also have to remember the why.  Why are we doing this menial task once again that no one even knows about?  The answer also applies to the soloist who gets yet another curtain call.  We do it all for the glory of God.  It's not about the applause of man.  It's not about feeling good about ourselves.  It's not even about helping the people around us.  It's about Jesus.

23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.                                                                               -Colossians 3 (ESV)

So that is why we pick up trash.  That is why we get to church a little earlier.  That is why we load the dishwasher.  That is literally why we scrub the toilets.  And that is why, when we are given the stage, we sing the solos.



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