We were locked in a dead heat against a rival high school which had just performed their final piece and performed it very well. Our director, Mr. Harper, told us in our warm ups prior to performing that he had a trick up his sleeve. During band practice in preparation for the competition, Mr. Harper had us play different parts of the piece without looking at the music in order to teach us to listen to one another. He knew we could do it because his pep band leader (me) led the band in a two-minute version of the song during a time out during a home basketball game. We didn’t have the music at the game. During our warm-ups, Mr. Harper instructed us to sing through the music in double time. He then felt we were ready to perform it without the notes in front of us.
Five minutes later, we processed into the auditorium. We pulled out the music, set it on the stands, and sat down. He raised his baton, turned it once in a circular motion, and we turned our music stands away from us so that the music was facing the audience. The five judges had our full sheet music in front of them and while the entire audience had our music in view, the performers were left without the notes. There was a rush of voices and then silence from the crowd as they waited to see if we could perform without music. Mr. Harper smiled warmly and confidently at us, like a cat who had just caught a bird. He waved his hands and off we went. … and we were perfect.
That night, I had a dream. I was in the most magnificent symphony orchestra I could ever imagine. We were playing in the throne room of God. The music was unlike anything I have ever heard on earth. Every instrument was in tune, from the tympani to the chimes to the strings to the piccolos. We were technically correct but, at the same time, we were playing with more passion than I have ever experienced. By far, this was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard in my life. I was in the orchestra for God.
After I awoke, I realized that what we played for the judges in the high school band competition sounded like an AM radio station played on an old transistor radio compared to what I heard in heaven. I shared the dream with Mr. Harper. He told me that we strive to be on earth what God has in store for us in heaven – perfection.
Maybe this is what Jesus meant when he said for us to be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect. That we strive to be better than what we are, to reach higher and higher, to try to be perfect maybe to prepare ourselves for what God has in store.