Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Refiner's Fire

Cymbals are probably one of the coolest parts about drumming. They add a large variety of sound and feel to music. From the ring of a small bell, to roar of a gong, there is almost an endless variety of cymbals to choose from. I personally like the sound of a thin 14" Sabian B8 Pro crash cymbal, but that doesn't really matter to much. What I really want to focus on is how a cymbal is made.
For those of you who don't know, a completed cymbal ,when being used, goes through a rigorous beating as a drummer is constantly hitting the cymbal. It is always vibrating and producing sound, and its a wonder that it doesn't crack instantly. It is very important that a cymbal be made correctly so that it can serve its purpose successfully without breaking.
When a cymbal is made it starts by mixing different metals together, such as copper and brass, to help give it the desired tone. Once that mixture is completed the newly formed metal compound goes through a process of rapid heating and cooling. It is heated to a certain temperature and then quickly dropped into a vat of water that is set at a certain temperature to cool the metal rapidly. This process is called tempering.
Before the metal is tempered it is very brittle and breaks very easily, and if you were strong enough you could easily snap it in half with your bare hands. On the flip side, though, after the metal has been tempered it is very hard and it won't break. Thus drummers are able to use cymbals for years and years at a time without them breaking.
I find a striking similarity between the tempering process and our lives here on earth. As we go about our lives and make choices we are constantly enduring the consequences of those choices, and as a result we learn and grow from those experiences. We are constantly buffeted by trials and temptations, and while at times we yield to temptations or allow our trials to weigh us down we can always recover and pick ourselves back up again through the atonement of Jesus Christ. As a result of this process we learn and grow from our mistakes. Because of this we are less likely to yield to temptation, and can more easily conquer satan.
There is a constant tempering process in our lives, and as we endure our trials we will be able to return to live with our loving Heavenly Father. As we constantly apply the cooling water of the atonement after the intense heat of tribulation we will slowly but surely become stronger individuals, and well tempered sons and daughters of a proud and loving Heavenly Father.

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