I am continually amazed at how God created us. Consider music. Music affects the innermost core of a human. People choose music according to their mood, or make choices based on the music they are listening to. There is something about music that stirs our souls.
God has gifted some with an amazing ability to create and compose, or to play and express. Music is the essence of their being.
He has created others with a hunger for music. My husband and I both are inspired creatively by music. I love silence. The sound of nature is music to me, but turn on the stereo and suddenly vivid images dance in my head ready to come out on painted page. I have seen many a music video in my head as a song plays out. One of the things that attracted me to my husband was his ability to play a random grouping of songs that would take me on a mental journey.
Although I am not a gifted musician, music has always been important to me. My mom plays the piano and organ, my dad the guitar. He also experimented with the banjo and they both love the dulcimer. My dad’s singing voice would make you melt. My grandpa would occasionally get out his old fiddle and play. Even that rusty sound was beautiful to me. My brothers went through their electric guitar phase during adolescence. One brother still plays. I played the piano and flute quite well, and also have always loved to sing. Now my children play the piano and guitar, and my husband picked up the guitar and began his journey only 1 ½ years ago. Music has always surrounded me and I would have it no other way.
Another favorite from my childhood would be the hymns we sang in church. I loved holding the hymnal, singing the harmony. The words of the hymns became a part of me. When I gave my life to Christ, a friend was singing hymns. God used the music, the words, to stir up my soul and release my selfish life to Him.
I was reading a bit of my favorite book the other day and related very much to the following quote:
“You are not a great musician but you do play an instrument—or you did. It is dusty at present…. All the music you make is in your daydreams…. People working or living with you…are also being deprived of what could be a shared thing.” (excerpt from Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer)
These words ring true for me. I was once quite good on the piano. Due to lack of practice, I am now quite mediocre. Practice would fix this, yet I stay away. I teach my kids to play instead. I was just visiting another musician’s blog this morning when a comment I made really began to soak in. I shared with Cellista how much I loved hearing my mom practice as a child and how greatly Cellista’s playing would benefit her kids. Will knowing this truth, being reminded of this truth, inspire me to practice again? Will I continue to deprive my family of what could be a shared thing?
One of my greatest downfalls is pride. One of the barriers to practice is pride. I have never liked to play in front of people because I did not want to make a mistake, or be judged as a musician by how I played. Recently I was reminded of this when we had some friends over for dinner. The husband is the Worship Pastor of our church. His musical mind is enthralling. When he asked me to play, I couldn’t. I fumbled, made excuses. Why? Because I thought he would think I am the stinkiest pianist ever.
Perhaps I will be inspired to practice this summer, perhaps even today. And about that pride thing, God is very good at stripping these things away. I just need to let Him. Perhaps if I play my music in worship to my most creative Creator, there will be no room for pride.