The Saint Francis prayer, a favorite of mine, begins:
"Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace." For many years now, whenever I have heard the word instrument, I have thought of technical instruments, such as a compass or navigational equipment. The other day, someone spoke of an instrument as a musical instrument. I love the idea of becoming a musical instrument for my Creator's use. More than purely functional, an instrument is a thing of beauty, which with practice and hard work by the player can present us with melodious music. To become an instrument of peace is to come into harmony with God, to allow oneself to be played, yet be part of the process. When I allow God into my life I do more than just sit around and wait for miracles to happen. I take daily steps, I do the footwork, and God just pulls it all together into a tune. The Italians have at least two words for play, giocare, to play a sport or game, and suonare, to play an instrument. In English, there is one word but many meanings. Most involve another person to accomplish. It is the same when becoming an instrument of peace. In order to play, there has to be another, in my case I look toward my Creator as companion. I have learned from experience that when I allow God to make me into an instrument, the music turns out to be sweeter than if I had muddled through on my own. Now if I could only remember this next time I wake up in fear.