My Two Cents
December 25, 2016, 12:00 AM

Two weeks ago, while I was on my morning commute to work- four blocks through the neighborhood- I spied a young man who looked to be in middle school. I’m guessing he was a sixth grader. He didn’t have that “I’m about to be in high school” swagger. But it was too early in the morning for him to be catching the bus to elementary school.

He wasn’t very big. And walking down the sidewalk he looked even smaller because he was lugging a bulky French horn case that was about half his height. That case is so awkward. It’s like brief cases with an aneurism on one end.  Step, bump. Step, bump.

Once this budding musician got to the bus, he would have to lug his case up its precarious steps and around the corner without crashing into the bus driver, or accidentally knocking the bus into gear. Then when he got to the aisle  between the seats, he would have to lift the awkward case above his head to be sure he didn’t knock the pretty Red Haired Girl’s I phone or lunch box to the floor or even worse, hit her in the knee. Finally, he would find an empty bench where he and his case could sit together and make idle conversation.

Then, when he got to school he’d do the same thing in reverse. He’d be the envy of everyone as he step-bumped down the hall, until he got to the band room where all the other cool kids hang out and where, after all that work, he would drop his horn off in the instrument room.

Believe me, I know this routine. What work!!!

But then, later that evening, he’s back at school with his hair slicked down, wearing his Sunday best. He takes his place in the middle of the band. The auditorium is filling to capacity with adoring fans. The lights dim. The conductor climbs to the podium. For just a moment her eyes rest on him and his horn.

Then the baton drops. That same young man finds himself sitting in the middle of the celebration playing his part, swept up in the music and the magic of the season and thinking to himself, “All that work was worth it.”

Let’s be honest. December feels a lot like work. Lugging and bumping and walking and “excuse me” and “I’m sorry”. December can also make us feel like we’re carrying an extra burden that no one else really appreciates.

But, hopefully for all of us this December, that   moment finally comes, when we can set aside all the work of the season, take a moment, sit, and get swept up in the presence of something greater than we can see. The music we add may not seem like much. But then neither did that baby dozing in his mother’s arms, after all that work.

Merry Christmas!


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