Sermon Illustrations
Posted by Douglas on Feb 18, 2006

I was thinking recently about the time I spent in the university orchestra while I was a college student. I particularly remember our orchestra conductor, Anatole, who told many stories. Here's one he told during an orchestra rehearsal.

He was once part of a quartet that was working on a piece of music by a modern composer. It was a piece of music that had "more black than white on the page," which is a way of saying that there were lots and lots and lots of very fast notes! So this quartet worked and worked and worked to get every last note perfect. Then, a couple weeks before they were supposed to perform the premiere of this quartet, the composer showed up to hear them practice.

"WHAT are you doing?" he demanded as they played his composition for him.

"What do you mean?" they asked.

"Why are you playing all those notes?"

"That's what's on the page," they said.

The composer was disgusted. "I didn't put those notes down because I wanted you to play every single one of them -- they were just to give you a general idea of what to play."

Now, I don't know about you, but I would have been pretty disgusted with the composer if I'd worked for so long to play what he had written, only to find out "he didn't really mean it."

That got me thinking, I'm awfully glad God isn't like that. God doesn't play guessing games with us...he makes it very clear what He expects of us.

In the book of Micah, the Israelites are asking God, "What do you want us to do to please you?" And God essentially says, "This is no guessing game...I've already told you!"

6:8He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?Micah 6:8 (ESV)

These are the "notes" God has written on the page, and they are the notes he wants us to play. Unfortunately I think we lose sight of what is written on the page because we think God is playing guessing games with us. We spend all our time worrying about "What school am I going to go to?" or "What job will I take?" or "What color shirt does God want me to wear this morning?"

Perhaps if we spent our time worrying about the notes which are actually written down, everything else would just fall into place. But, of course, if we spend all our time worrying about those other things, we'll lose sight of the really important stuff...

...and once we've lost sight of those things, it really doesn't matter what school we go to, what job we take, or what shirt we wear, because we're not playing the music God has written for us anyway!

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