As I write this, my mother-in-law is on the edge of eternity. My husband and I went last night to say our final goodbyes.

Whenever any of us encounter death the questions surrounding who we are, and what happens after we breathe our last, come rising up inside of us.

Some have learned to shove it down.

Nevertheless, these questions come.

So today, my emotions are all over the place.

My mind is trying to make sense of them.

But my will is determined to let my spirit lead.

My soul is seeking the conductor of my inner orchestra.

What does that mean?

It is an analogy.

I love analogies and word pictures. They help me understand complicated things. I have become more aware of them all around us.

I am amazed at how we are surrounded by analogies, examples, and pictures to explain who we are, and how we are designed.

I have learned they are not always in a language we understand and so we can miss them.

Let me draw a picture of our inner orchestra.


The soul as defined by dictionary.com is:

the principle of life, feelingthought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part. (emphasis mine)

I see our individual souls, are like an orchestra inside of us.

An orchestra is complex. It is a group of people who play different instruments divided into sections.

There are four main sections (strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion). An orchestra plays classical music (aka art music according to Wikipedia),

An orchestra also has a concertmaster and is led by a conductor.

The concertmaster is a part of the orchestra. They help lead the orchestra. While the conductor is separate and is the primary lead.

Each of us are complex beings like an orchestra. We are made up of different parts.

Our inner life has four sections (emotions, mind, will and spirit). Our lives can be a work of art, playing beautiful music.

Trouble is, sometimes the music isn’t so beautiful.

Awful things happen in our lives. This can send our inner life into varying degrees of chaos.

If we have never learned how to operate our different sections in concert with one another the chaos will be severe.

This begins with learning each of them separately, even though the goal is the beautiful music of them “playing” together.

Our souls are a trinity within us made up of our emotions, our mind, and our will. Our spirits are inside us also. These make up our inner orchestra. Our spirit is designed to be our concertmaster. (more on concertmaster)

Have you ever heard how a person sounds when they play a musical instrument for the first time?

Do they play beautifully, with skill?

Of course not.

Many times our reaction is to cover our ears and wince.

That is a picture of our inner orchestra playing when we don’t know how to operate our different sections together, and we are attempting to do so without the assistance of our concertmaster (our spirit) and a conductor.

The conductor in an orchestra is critical to its success.

They direct the performance, unify the orchestra, set the tempo and shape the sound of the ensemble.

They also prepare the orchestra by leading rehearsals and provide instructions. (read for more detail)

Likewise the conductor of our lives.

What or who is directing your life?

We get to choose who our conductor is: who is going to lead us through life, who we will receive instruction from. I choose The Pursuer.

I have learned that if I don’t intentionally choose a conductor for my life, one will emerge somehow.

Without an intentional conductor, we will operate on instinct (old habits and mindsets instilled in us). Or we might let the opinions and pressures of others be the determining factor in our lives.

But our lives are ours.

We hold the responsibility to choose.

If we cannot see it, it can be difficult to understand that not choosing is choosing.

I have done that.

Since I have chosen The Pursuer as my conductor I have begun to learn.

Key word begun.

There is a lot to learn, much skill to acquire.

Just like a new musician needs to practice to learn, we need to practice too.

We will make mistakes.

We will sometimes not pay attention to our conductor.

We will fail. But we will have help.

So look into your life.

Who is your conductor? Have you made an intentional choice?

Let me know in the comments.


My mother-in-law is living in the final verse of this song – This is for my conductor.




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  1. I like the post powerful with the circumstances you mention. Seems most of the post is about “the conductor” with a brief mention of four sections of our inner life. I thought you were going to go into each of the four sections and say how the conductor coordinates them all. I like what you said about the conductor just got lost in the four sections you started to mention.
    I like how you mention no choice is a choice. I fall into that a lot to overthink and make non-choices instead of acting and learning something.

    1. Michael, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I see what you mean. I did focus more on the conductor than the sections. The three previous weeks I did an article focusing on each of the sections (emotions, mind & will) but those did not carry the orchestra connection. There is so much to be said about how all of our inner workings work together, or fail to do so. These are the things I write about.

      I understand that my emotional state hindered my ability to clearly think. I felt like the article was missing something but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Thank you again.

      On Saturday my mother in law passed. We had the funeral yesterday.

Please share your thoughts!