Hello dear Praise Team Blog readers. Greetings from cold and snowy Anchorage, Alaska. Seems that each time I write, it is from somewhere different on this amazing planet. I would like to discuss the role of Instruments; what they are, their purpose and how we should use them.. Whether a person plays a guitar, piano or their radio, we each utilize instruments for some specific purpose. By the end of this blog I would like to leave you with a resolve to KNOW your instruments, UNDERSTAND your purpose, and dedicate yourself to USE your instrument (s) in a productive and meaningful manner.
Rather than discuss my musical instrument (the bass guitar) I want to reference another set of instruments. In my job as a pilot, I am provided a large array of instruments to safely navigate a large machine around the world. While takeoffs and landings are probably the most fun, the most difficult part is navigating through some of the most challenging airspaces in the world, at times with many other aircraft in the area and following the instructions of air traffic controllers who may or may not speak very good English. These instruments in the cockpit provide me with information regarding the condition of the aircraft, the location of the aircraft and also enable us as a crew to communicate with the outside world. As pilots we have a mantra about how to prioritize our thinking: Aviate (keep the airplane upright and under control), Navigate (know where you are and where you are going), and Communicate (understand your instructions and communicate your needs and/or intentions). We are taught from day one that our instruments are tools to be used to help perform the duties at hand.
KNOW. In order to adequately do my job, I need to KNOW what my instruments are and how they are used. This involves practice, study and a focus on the role each instrument plays in the overall big picture. This is true if we are talking about musical instruments in a band, or maybe instead of a musical instrument God has called you to be an encourager and teacher in the lives of our youth. Do you know your instruments? Have you studied their purpose and how you should be using them ? Maybe your instrument is not musical…perhaps your instruments are books, activities or tools in your shed that you can use to teach a young man how to fix a car. We need to know our instruments.
UNDERSTAND. When I receive information for an upcoming trip, I need to ensure I UNDERSTAND exactly what the expectations are for me and for the aircraft. Another way to put it is that I need to understand my role in the big picture and to ensure that my portion of the puzzle matches exactly with the rest of the puzzle. Understanding my purpose in the big picture is fundamental to me knowing how to apply my time and energies.
USE. Lastly, after knowing my instruments and understanding my role, then I need to get down to the nitty gritty of putting those instruments to USE. I need to “ply my trade”. In flying, I need to use the instruments to ensure the safe and effective outcome of the flight. In my life as a Christian I need to use the tools God has given me in a manner that is in keeping with the overall purpose God has given to me.
So, do you KNOW the Instruments God has given to you to accomplish your assigned role in the body of Christ? Do you UNDERSTAND your role in the overall big picture that God is painting ? And are you truly putting your energies and talents to USE the way God has intended? If we are doing all that, there is tremendous blessing and a true sense of purpose and belonging.
Keith Anderson (bass player)