Respecting the Rests: What to do when you’re not working

Not without design does God write the music of our lives. But be it ours to learn the tune, and not be dismayed at the “rests.” – John Ruskin

No one looks forward to playing the triangle in an orchestra.

Triangle playerOften, the percussionist playing the triangle part is given a score which has multiple pages of rests. While the orchestra is intensely engaged in making music, the triangle player counts measures. And waits.

In the same manner, there are times in a musician’s career where it seems God has assigned a page full of rests. No new opportunities. The phone is silent. No email or text announcing the next exciting performance.

How should you respond when the rhythm of your career is interrupted by a long rest?

  1. Look Up. A rest doesn’t change your role. As a musician you’ve been given a gift, designed for specific people at a specific time. Don’t doubt your calling based on your present circumstance. Keep your eyes on the Divine Conductor. He made you part of his orchestra for a reason.
  2. Look Around. During the rest, keep track of where the music industry is heading. Don’t stop searching for opportunities. Keep connecting with fellow musicians. Authentic relationships will help you when you step back into the scene.heinrich-bender-906556_1280
  3. Look Inside. Use the time during a rest to dig deep. Take advantage of the creative freedom you have when there isn’t a new performance to prepare for.  Envision how much better a musician you could be when the rest is over. Then start making that happen.

A long rest doesn’t mean the music is over. Stay focused and be ready when the conductor points your way. Ruskin’s quote sums it up best.

“If we look up, God Himself will beat the time for us. With the eye on Him, we shall strike the next note full and clear.”

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