Yesterday morning, per my usually Saturday schedule, I stayed in my pajamas and watched the best thing my cable had to offer- Mr. Holland’s Opus on TBS. Now this movie came out when I joined the band in 6th grade so there were a couple of months where my friends and I loved this movie and watched it over and over. (Similarly A League of Their Own came out the year I first played coach-pitch softball and I still maintain that that’s the best movie ever.) But this morning I watched Mr. Holland’s Opus and saw something new: this movie is a little depressing.
It’s a movie about a young musician who takes a job as a high school music teacher so he can pay the rent, but in his ‘spare time’ he can pursue his real goal to be a famous composer. Of course life happens, his wife gets pregnant, the mortgage is loaned and over 140 minutes, we see Richard Dreyfuss age into an older man as he teaches 30 years worth of students about music, when then, the music program at his school is cut and he is forced to retire.
How depressing! As someone who’s basically thinking about the pre-beginning parts of her career, it’s a tough pill to swallow. You mean my dreams might not materialize even with hard work?
Because also yesterday morning I got an email about my discernment process and apparently I scheduled that interview before this interview when I should have scheduled this interview before that interview. It’s not that big of a deal, but the whole process can feel so fragile and hiccups can make me requestion everything. It’s easy to pray and ask God “Is this right?” but it’s hard to leave him room to answer.
The discernment process is as much about obedience and humility as it is diligence and confidence. With how much I think I know how God is calling me, I can never be certain. That’s where faith comes in.
Luckily (spoiler alert!) Mr. Holland’s Opus doesn’t just end with a forced retirement. His students from the years come together to perform the opus he had worked on throughout the years as well as tell him thanks for his teaching and inspiration. What he didn’t want to do turns into what he was supposed to be doing his whole life.
So maybe if this whole ordination thing doesn’t work out, I can start teaching high school band for thirty years, inspiring students to love music and believe in themselves. Or not.