linking with Five Minute Friday at katemotaung.com – write for five minutes on a given prompt, which today is “quiet”
In the bands and music groups I have played in I have noticed two kinds of quiet.
Some people are quiet because they are afraid to get it wrong or they don’t see the importance of their part. They play timidly and tentatively, not wanting to stick out and be heard.
Other people are quiet because they know that’s how it is meant to be. At that moment their part is not the one that is meant to be heard above everyone else. They can make themselves heard when it’s appropriate, but they also know when their role is to support and accompany.
And, of course, there are also those who are just not quiet at all, who think their part is always the most important one, or who just don’t listen to other people. 🙂
It’s true in music and it’s true in life.
For a long time I was the first kind of quiet: it was safer to stay in the shadows, to blend in, not to be noticed. I thought everyone else was better than I was- their opinions were more important and I had nothing of value to say. People would always say I was quiet so I believed them- it was just how I was.
It was only later I realised that maybe I wasn’t so quiet after all. God freed me up to speak- to have confidence to believe that I actually did have something to say, that I didn’t need to be afraid, that I didn’t need to hide, and suddenly I began to talk. I surprised myself at times by speaking up boldly in situations where I would definitely have remained silent in the past. I began to enjoy public speaking instead of dreading it and avoiding it.
I would probably still be described as quiet in a lot of situations. In large groups I will listen rather than talk. I don’t have a need to always be the centre of attention. But equally I have no hesitation in speaking up when I have something to say.
Now I try to be the second kind of quiet- to realise that there is “a time to be quiet and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7). I don’t always get it right, but I try to be sensitive to what’s going on around me- to discern if it is a time to speak or a time to listen.
What is my role in the music at this moment in time? Am I playing the melody for all to hear? Am I quietly supporting someone else’s melody with a harmony part? Or is my part right now simply to remain silent?