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Aaron Johnson: Just five notes

Today Denise and I drove to Kennesaw, Ga., for a band concert. I’m not a big fan of any specific genre of music. The idea of a band concert really has about as much appeal to me as a Yugo. That begs the question, why? Why would we drive 250 miles, round trip, to hear a band perform a 15-minute concert?


Our oldest, Lydia, is in the sixth grade and has chosen to play in the band. She is already a competitive swimmer. Her choice to play in the band thrills me as much as her swimming. And to make the whole package even better; she is in the percussion section! During the days of parenting her mother, Denae, I often dreamed of these days. I encourage Lydia to practice as much and as loud as possible; at least when she is home.

As of today’s performance, she is playing the xylophone. Yep, spell check had to help me on that one. And, as far as a first three weeks, first year xylophone player, she rocked!! I had no idea how riveting “Soft Kitty” could be.

I have heard it said that country music is three chords and the truth. I don’t know about that. However, five notes on a xylophone can be arranged into several memorable tunes.
We heard flutes, clarinets, drums, saxophones, and some other instruments I can’t name.

The performance was excellent. Never have five notes been played so well or delighted a Pop so much, as did they today.

Every stellar instrumentalist began somewhere. Maybe he or she started in sixth grade band. I wonder how many of our favorite songs from our collective lives would not exist had it not been for sixth grade band. If any reader can answer that
please let me know.

Five notes. Just five notes played well can be beautiful. Five notes can produce a thousand songs. Five notes played well could produce a hit single, a YouTube sensation, or a tune to make a Pop shed a tear.

Have you found your five notes? It is a tragedy that so many people die with music left in them; not the music made with instruments. I’m talking about the music that a life well-lived plays. Each life is an instrument. We all have a season to learn to play it and some learn to play well. Others neglect the gifts that God has given and never find their five notes.

Some look with envy on others who play their lives so well and grow jealous, envious, even bitter. Others dance to a different drummer, play their own notes, and make us smile, laugh, or weep. Are you even looking for your five notes?

I hope when I get to heaven, this body has played the last note it had in it. I hope I have cheered on those who are struggling, championed the cause of the voiceless, and maybe stood up to some bullies. When we learn to play our five notes well, we get to learn more. Five notes for a beginner is good. For a seasoned old man like me though, I need to know them all.

Discover your purpose. Live your passion. Find those five notes. Play them with excellence. And when you do, the world will notice.

Who knows? You might just be asked to be in a band.

Aaron Johnson is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News. He is pastor of Christ Redeemer Church in Guntersville.

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