Friday, June 10, 2011

To Be an Instrument

I'd like you to meet a friend of mine.  A very good friend of mine.
 I'm talking about a friend who has been with me through the thick and the thin.  Be it howling rainstorms on bike in Fairfield, raging gang fights in Vallejo, peaceful sunny mornings in Petaluma, and the misty sea breeze of McKinleyville, and everything in between, this friend has time and again proven faithful and true.  We've had some near misses and close calls, but we've always been reunited in the end.  This friend has been a constant companion to me, and I knew I could always count on him when I needed him.

 Say hello to Penjamin. (*named in honor of Elder Collett's legendary pen)

 Every missionary needs a good, reliable pen.  Some prefer cheap, expendable pens.  Others stick to certain brands, such as Zebra or Inc.  For me, there is only Penjamin.  Whenever there is an appointment to be set, he is there to ink in the block in my daily planner.  Whenever there was a letter to be written, Penjamin is there to fill the lines and address the envelope.  If I have any thoughts or ideas, Penjamin turns them from mere thoughts into a reality, making the intangible tangible on any medium (as long as its paper).  It's amazing how something as simple as a little bit of metal, plactic, and ink can literally change the world.  This  simple instrument can be a great force for good, or a terrible weapon for evil.
 It all depends on how you use it.

 The Dictionary defines "instrument" as:
 "a means by which something is effected or done; agency". 
 There are many examples of instruments.  The first things that come to your mind are probably things like pianos, trombones, ukuleles, and, my personal favorite, guitars. 
  All of these musical instruments can help us express our emotions in a beautiful, harmonizing way.  However, before an instrument becomes even remotely useful, many hours of practice and trial must be invested.  What is more, if an instrument is out of tune, it can be frustrating and depressing to play! If a string is tightened too much, it will snap.  If it is too slack, it is useless. 

 In that same way, we are "instruments" in the Hands of the Lord. As we strive to overcome our weaknesses and change our hearts, we bring ourselves more "in tune" with the melody of the Master.  To be an instrument, we must recognize that, on our own, we can't make the music come.  We may have every ivory key polished, every string pitched just so, but without the musician, they are all but useless.  But if we invite the Great Musician into our lives, the Lord promises to "make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls"
 Only you can decide what kind of instrument you will be. Will you seek to be an instrument for good, or one that collects dust on the shelf?  Will you allow for the "touch of the Master's hand", or will you let your music go unplayed?
 "Neither yield instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves... as instruments of righteousness unto God."


  1. Man, I hope I'm a useful instrument! What are some of the ways you have improved yourself to become a useful tool in the Lord's hands?

  2. I feel like I've definitely undergone some fine tuning on my mission. I've strived to be more charitable and kind and thoughtful, and I think that's gotten better. I definitely feel the spirit more. How have you, Sister Nestman?