Sunday, February 3, 2013
I Hate to Practice
From a young age - in large part due to the fact that I had an older, ivory-tinkling brother - I was fascinated with the large, brown piece of furniture in the "front room" of our house.
When I was four, I banged on it so much, my mom enrolled me in piano lessons. She figured if she couldn't keep me away from the noisemaker, she might as well get someone to help me learn how to make is sound a little nicer when I did pound on it.
There was one, colossal problem. I just wanted to play. PLAY. Do you hear me, people? I wanted to play! And I wanted to play what I wanted to play! And practicing and playing what other people wanted me to play was not playing!
But, here's a bigger, more colossal problem. Without practice and without listening to the instruction of my teacher...well, my piano pounding was still just noise. And really annoying noise at that.
In grade school, I wanted to play "Nadia's Theme" from the 1976 Olympics, but my teacher made me play Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata." Gag. In junior high, I wanted to play from the Carpenter's anthology of love songs, but she made me play a Franz Listz "Hungarian Rhapsody." Double gag. In high school, I wanted to play anything from my Michael Jackson "Thriller" cassette, but she made me play Bach Inventions Nos 4 & 13. Eye roll. In college, I wanted to play Bruce Hornsby's "The Way It Is," but she made me play Debussy's "Clair de Lune." By this time, I had surrendered. Cue the Debussy.
You know what was a bigger, more colossal, colossal problem? The fact that when she did let me attempt to perform what I wanted...I had to practice that, too! I just wanted to sit down and rock out!
Wasn't gonna' happen.
Scales, arpeggios, scales and more arpeggios. Some Mozart, some Jackson, some hymns...they all required practice. All of 'em.
Forget "good to great" - most of us, not just our kids, want to go from nothing to great. In 60 seconds.
We're always harping on our kids to practice. To work. To study. What about us? I want to show up with a slammin' lesson for each of my classes every day. But, I don't want to go up to my classroom on Saturday afternoon and work on one.
I want to write, speak and encourage those around me - in a big way. I don't always want to actually, physically sit down and type something up. I don't always want to pray, fast and study to have something encouraging to speak. I don't always want to turn off my Hallmark movie and call that friend I know could use a kind word. Sigh.
I hate to practice. I hate forming good habits. It takes a lot of work.
But, you know what? I've loved, and still love, being able to make music. I got to watch three, little boys march around the living room as I played, "Old Blue" and "Happy and You Know It." I can entertain school classes with my very own, "I'm Not Gonna' Write You a Hall Pass." I can plop down in my family room on our rickety bench, at the end of a stressful day, and play and sing, "10,000 Reasons." Sing, pray, worship, cry and eventually, feel God's presence envelop me.
You know what else I love? My relationship with God. I love when He swoops in to save my day, or makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I love the victories He gives me and all of the good times.
I just don't always like to get up and read my Bible. I sometimes say, "I'll just have to talk to You later, Lord. Because, being the silly girl that I am, I'm too super busy right now trying to do some incredible stuff for You, without any preparation or consultation whatsoever."
In other words...I hate to practice. But, I think I'd better go do it anyway.
How about you?