"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Life Unrehearsed

I admit, I hate rehearsal. I'm one of those people who likes to get the general idea of something and run with it. Art over science. Spontaneity over rehearsal. Improvision over precision.

I also like projects where I can see big sweeping changes. I love to paint a room, as long as it isn't the same color as it was before. I'm process oriented with no patience for tedium. If its not fun to do, its not worth doing.

And in the immortal parental curse, I've been blessed with a child who is very much like his mother. And the one thing I secretly hate as much as he does is his piano practice. Plowing away at the same song day after day with tiny imperceptable progress and a kid who doesn't want to practice in the first place (and will find every excuse in the book to avoid work) is mental torture.

Tonight, as I type, its "The Witches' Dance" one of the little songs in John Thompson's Third Grade Book. I can look at that book cover and remind myself of progress through three books. I can listen to real music coming from his hands and remember the days when scales were the impossible obstacle. And still, somehow, part of me thinks I'm going to be a little old lady telling him not to rush the easy parts on that blasted "Witchy Song."

But I suppose life is like that. Progress comes in baby steps. Patience is a virtue. The journey of a thousand miles, and all that. Skills are built, churches are grown, children are raised, all one small step at a time.

But I want to see progress, movement. Stagnant water is good for nothing but mosquitoes. Maybe that's why I have three children, so I can look at one and see how far he's come, look at another and know he won't always be small and making me crazy all afternoon (no that I have any particular child in mind there, of course). I know that when my firstborn was little I had no concept of him ever being as grown up and capable as he is now. In my mind he'd always be small and helpless, unable to communicate his needs or solve his own problems. Now we talk about things like college, chores, jobs, and that blasted piano (he'll be filling in for our parish organist on Sunday, he's really not half bad).

I guess where I'm going is this: we all want big shazaam moments and miracles and the parting of the waters... but mostly God works in tiny little things. His attention span is longer than ours, and when he moves fast and furious, it may still be hard for us to notice. And so we are reminded that he is not slow in coming to us, as some reckon slowness, but has withheld his return so that not one who would be saved would be neglected.

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