Activated - - NEWS - By Amy Mizrany Amy Mizrany was born and lives in South Africa and is a full-time mis­sion­ary with Help­ing Hand and a mem­ber of the Fam­ily In­ter­na­tional. In her spare time, she plays the vi­o­lin.

One morn­ing, I walked into my mu­sic teacher’s class­room to start my vi­o­lin les­son and no­ticed two vi­o­lins on the desk. My eye was im­me­di­ately drawn to the first one, which looked new. A brand-new vi­o­lin is some­thing to be­hold, with gor­geous curves, a glossy, un­scratched sur­face that shines in the light, and an en­gag­ingly twist­ing scroll fit­ted with squeaky tuning pegs.

Next to this beau­ti­ful vi­o­lin freshly out of the hands of some ex­pert vi­o­lin maker was an­other vi­o­lin. Its curves were still gor­geous, but in some places the out­line was dis­turbed by a crack or scuff in the wood; its sur­face was dull and scratched; its scroll still twirled, but the pegs were sur­rounded by chips, and the neck was worn where years of hands had held it.

Yuck! one might think. That’s about as messed up as a vi­o­lin can get with­out fall­ing apart! But as my teacher told me, while new vi­o­lins look per­fect, it’s the old vi­o­lins that sound beau­ti­ful. They’ve been bumped, clanged, dropped, for­got­ten. And they sound all the sweeter be­cause of it.

A vi­o­lin needs time to find its tone, to fully grow into its voice. To reach its full po­ten­tial, a vi­o­lin must be played for hours on end. It must be tuned and re-tuned. Its strings will snap, its bridge might slip, its pegs might come un­done. But it’s all part of the process.

Some­times I feel like I’m be­ing end­lessly bumped, clanged, dropped, and for­got­ten. Some­times it feels like I’m scuffed up, chipped, and be­gin­ning to crack. There are days when my nerves snap, just like a string on my vi­o­lin, and I most as­suredly don’t feel beau­ti­ful. But from the seem­ingly never-end­ing suc­ces­sion of days, from each slip and bang, I learn. While I may not be able to com­pare to the flaw­less and beau­ti­ful, I grow and ma­ture. And just like a cen­tury-old vi­o­lin is beau­ti­ful to a vi­o­lin­ist, I am beau­ti­ful to Je­sus.

So don’t feel bad if you have a bad day or you slip up and fall. You may feel like you’re full of chips and scratches, but it’s just a part of the process that helps you to stretch and im­prove. Ev­ery clang and dent will leave you wiser, and your life’s melody will be the sweeter for it.

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