Today's Scripture -- 11.4.2014
"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." ~ Galatians 1:10
How to Make the Best Music with Your Life
I could have said no.
But I have trouble refusing church ladies like Trish. They’re the kind whose persuasive acts make you wonder if arm-twisting is a spiritual gift. They could talk you into delivering Sunday’s sermon in a pinch.
Trish had called, looking for musicians. And before I could eek out a simple word – NO – I gushed: “Yes! Of course!”
A few days later, she brought a French horn to our house, along with a trumpet. I had ... um ... volunteered my husband, too. I agreed that both of us could play in a brass quintet at our country church’s Christmas Eve service.
Never mind that neither my husband nor I have played brass in 20 years. I would need to Google-search “French horn fingerings” to refresh my memory.
Like I said, I could have said no.
But Trish was convincing. She helped me believe we might be part of a magical moment.
Plus, I really wanted to say yes. As I grow older, my inner adventurer tells me to live life more fully, more courageously. Besides, my husband and I wanted to "practice what we preach" to our daughters. We regularly encourage our girls to try new things – like piano or cartwheels or sushi. This world – a gift to mortals – is fertile ground for playful, daring hearts.
If I scroll back through my life, I see places where perfectionism has stonewalled my spirit of adventure. I've wanted the approval of man more than I care to admit. I haven't always wanted to try new things. Maybe it’s because I’ve felt the sting of disapproval and self-doubt too many times.
But if we’re not careful, we could stop trying anything that seems scary or dangerous – like having babies. Or knitting. :)
Our drive for performance? It can drive us into a bland malaise. We miss out on adventure, when we're enslaved by our approval ratings.
Here's what I know--
We'll make the best music with our lives, if we are willing to play a few wrong notes.
And we can make the best music of all, when we clear all the people off of life's bleachers, and play for an Audience of One.
Our little brass ensemble risked wrong notes that Christmas, because we didn't want to miss out on the adventure of the song. Sure, we rehearsed -- right here in our living room.
In a burst of musical bravado, my husband and I practiced while our two daughters sat cross-legged on the floor.
My mind danced with daydreams of a future with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – or at least a spot in the high school concert band. We finished the song. I lowered my horn, looking to our miniature music critics for assurance.
One daughter scrunched her nose. The other asked: “Are you sure that’s the way it was supposed to sound?”
True, we sounded more like sick elephants than a brass duet.
The night of our performance came a week later. The pastor had instructed us to play our song two times through. With forty-two sets of eyes on us, we lifted borrowed horns to our lips at Trish’s cue. The first strains of “The First Noel” filled the sanctuary.
And behold, we sounded like a real band. Yes, I did hit at least one wrong note, and I lost my breath midway. After one verse, we lowered our horns. Between bursts of laughter, we decided one verse was plenty.
Maybe it was the spirit of the season, but our audience broke into applause. I think I even heard a few cheers.
Afterward, Trish said we ought to play on Easter morning. I might just say yes.
Unless, of course, the Royal Philharmonic calls first. ;)
Trish and I, during our Christmas Eve performance.
(Portions of this story are told in Love Idol.)
YOUR TURN: Like the great prophet Elsa says, "Let it go! Let it go!" :) How can you let your inner adventurer loose today? How can you "let her go" from the cage of perfectionism?
UPDATE: NEW, CORRECTED PRINTABLES
The first version of our printables for our month-long series had a few errors. Those errors have been corrected (updated Nov. 4). You can print the updated sheets out by clicking here. We apologize for any inconvenience!
This post is part of our month-long series, “A November to Remember: Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes.
How You Can Be a Part of This Movement:
1 – Print out the Scripture sheets. (Click here for printable versions.) Each of the 30 daily Scriptures are quoted in Love Idol, and each one ties back in some way to our identity in Christ. (You don’t have to read the book to participate in this study. But of course, you’re welcome to! )
2 – Find the passage assigned for today’s date.
3 – Consider how God is speaking to you. How does the verse help you remember who you really are, outside of all the cultural noise?
4 - Visit us on the blog, or the Love Idol movement page on Facebook, to share what the verse means to you.
5 – Share your insights on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or your blog, to add more soul to your scroll. #MoreSoulLessScroll Tag me, so I can find you. (Or feel free to follow along silently! No social-media presence required.)
I’ll post my own response here on the blog every morning at 5 a.m. Sometimes, you’ll find a story, maybe a few short words, maybe a series of photos. That will happen every day, for all of November, God-willing.
Studies show that the best way to form a habit, is to NOT break the chain. Habits form if you keep at it, one day after the next after the next. After our 30 days, we may have created a new habit of Scripture before Scrolling – a habit that can take us into the Christmas season, and beyond.
If you want to follow along, visit us here every day. Consider subscribing to my blog by clicking here to get these reflections in your email inbox.
Let this be the November that we remember who we really are: Loved. Preapproved. His.
Find all the posts in the November to Remember series by clicking here.
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