Greetings to you on this Thursday as we usher in the final month of official “summer”…although I happen to know that the school system has eaten a large chunk of the month by starting school midway through August…what is up with that????
Ah…that musing will have to wait for another day…
Because for some reason, I have this other thought that keeps rising to the surface so let’s follow it.
I have always had a love-hate relationship with the piano.
Love the instrument itself…love the sound of it, the memories of my dad using a bulky electronic thing with gizmos and dials to rough tune pianos and then taking out his felt wrapped tuning forks and finishing the thing off by ear.
Loved how he could hear a song once and reproduce the sound.
Loved how he sat and held curved fingers over the keys and knew how to use the pedals and how easily it all seemed to come to him.
Hated that I couldn’t do any of that.
Loved the scales and exercise books with simple notes to read.
Hated the hours of practice and the way I couldn’t get the timing right and the sitting still and the …
the discipline of getting my mind and my fingers to work together to make those confusing markings splattered across those five lines and four spaces with their flags and dots and squiggles to not look like some foreign language.
And while there is a place deep inside me that wants to be a pianist, there has never been enough love to move me to actually do the thing that is required to make it happen.
There has never been enough want in me to invest the time and heart and energy into moving beyond the simple songs I learned up to the point I quit my lessons as a child.
Thankfully my kind husband has put up with allowing me to move this clunky upright that I purchased for $50 from a church basement…that ended up being an original Steinway & Sons with all the innards unharmed by time and multiple moves and the merciless pounding of the band of brothers.
When our talented children and musical friends, who can produce real music, come; our home is filled with these chords that echo in my own heart and I will briefly think how I want to learn to play.
But they leave and I get busy with other things that I am really interested in pursuing and all desire to improve on those early lessons is abandoned.
Oh friend, please tell me you see where this is heading?
Because we can love all things church…we can love the fellowship and the feels.
We can love hearing from great teachers who have studied the Word and seen wonderful things in it…who have the gift to bring it to life for us.
We can go down front and have someone pray over us and leave feeling so much stronger.
And we can love everything about the church and miss being the effective, growing, thriving part of the Body we were intended to be.
Because we don’t love the discipline of prayer and study and meditation.
We don’t love the tedious steps that make up the walk behind the talk.
We don’t love Christ enough to actually do the things that will make us alive in Him; the hard work of working out our salvation with fear and trembling.
We can live a life of faith vicariously through the emotions evoked by others who are close to Him rather than do the daily discipline of walking it out ourselves.
And one day, all of that runs dry.
It comes a day when the ones we were relying on to provide our “experience” of Christianity close down the cover over the keys and they stop playing for us.
Maybe they pass on to glory…maybe they fall from glory…maybe they start playing a style that doesn’t resonate with us…but the music stops and we are left empty and void because we never loved Jesus enough to learn Him for ourselves.
We are so blessed to share much with the Body of Christ…the fellowship and corporate worship, the unity of communion with the saints…all of it is wonderful…but I pray we never let it become a substitute for that personal relationship He desires to have with each one of us individually.
Perhaps as we enjoy the last few weeks of summer, we can stir up one another to set aside time each day to dig into His Word and let that fuel our thoughts and our prayers in the dog days of August.
What a harvest we will take in if we will invest now in our efforts to learn the ways of our Lord.
Blessings on each of you <3
***Special invite to local readers! Lisa and Ravshan Uraimov will be visiting and sharing with us in room 201 at FCC at 8:00 am Sunday morning!!!