as told to TLC on 1-31-10
Run the race as if to win, the apostle Paul said in his letter to the church at Corinth. It was the topic of church and lots of sports analogies were used. But I understood it from a different direction. I loved music and endured running in high school, especially since I always came in last place in sports but took firsts in music. So this running to win analogy made sense to me intellectually but not tangibly and God knew it. He came at me a bit sideways with this principle, so I could fully grasp it.
Training physically is equally valid in sports and music. But we musicians call it practicing and God brought to mind a typical musical practice – with long tone warm ups, scales, breathing exercises, sightreading and the actual playing of a piece of music. Like a physical warm up routine for sports, there’s a method to musical practice. I then thought of the difference that practicing for a competition made in contrast to just playing my instrument daily. Quite the difference – the intensity of the warming up, the variety of exercises I would choose and then the sheer amount of time focused on the competition piece. Wow – quite the difference! Musically, I do not compete anymore but instead play for fun and I wonder if I am guilty of unfocused training – neither musically nor spiritually! My love of God and love for music are too important to leave behind in the dust as I meander through life.So, I stop meandering and start intentionally giving my time and attention to finishing what I began long ago – to communicate through music and to love my Creator with all of me. The finish line is just ahead and it’s time to get serious again!