I’m really into music. I’ve been playing piano since I was nine (but plunking around on the keys long before that), and have been singing in the shower ever since I could remember. Lately, I’ve begun to take music a lot more seriously–playing piano and singing on my worship team has partly forced me to do that, and I’ve also realized that it’s something I’m truly passionate about.
Since I’ve been playing piano for quite a long time, memories of what it’s like to learn a new instrument have begun to fade. I recently borrowed a guitar from a friend and have been learning how to play it. Who knew learning an instrument could be so painful?! But, as I type this with my sore fingers, I find that it’s made me appreciate music even more. We don’t often take the time to stop and think about it, but musicians don’t just pick up a violin, run the bow across the strings, and let the clear notes ring. They don’t just sit down at the piano and play Symphony No. 5.
No, beautiful music doesn’t just happen. It takes practice (and a lot of it). But what inspires these people to play the music we listen to on the radio and enjoy at concerts?
Passion. Dedication. Motivation.
What are you passionate about? It’s something you love doing; something you’re willing to put time and effort into. You’re dedicated to it. You don’t suddenly decide that it’s too hard and give up. You stick with it; you’re willing to see it through to the end. You’re motivated. Without motivation, you might as well just sit on the couch. But no, if you care about something or believe it needs to be done, you’re not going to stay on that couch. You’ll get up and do what needs to be done to meet your goals.
I hear a musical note and it means things to me that words cannot say. For you, perhaps it’s something different. It can be something complex, like architecture, that speaks to you and interests you. But maybe it’s just going outside, sitting in a cool breeze, and listen to birds singing that fills your heart with peace and joy. Or maybe it’s relationship that brings you happiness. It’s as if a part of our heart is tuned to that particular thing. And whatever that thing is can vary from person to person.
But all of these things move on. Songs end, the most sturdy and beautiful buildings deteriorate, and birds fly south for the winter and it’s too cold spend much time outside. And people leave each other, or pass away. And there’s still a space in our heart that, seemingly filled with our passions, is suddenly empty again. What can fill it?
The only possible answer is God. The God who loves us, who created us, who sent His only Son to die on a cross so that we don’t have to spend eternity in hell. Some people spend their entire lives searching for something to fill that emptiness, only to die having pushed away the only One who could fill it.
I’ll be honest with you. During the most difficult times in my (admittedly short) life, I don’t know how I would have made it through it without God. He’s always been there by my side. He’s never left me alone even once. That space, because of Him, is filled, and I am complete. Even the happiest times of my life wouldn’t be complete without Him in my heart.
Sure, music is my passion. I love to listen to it and I love to make it. But I am far more passionate about God. And when I think about it, musicians put so much work into their music to create the beautiful sounds we love. Shouldn’t we, as Christians, strive to grow in all we do? Shouldn’t we read our Bibles to learn more about Him, go to church to hear His word and worship Him, and have fellowship with other believers? But some of us simply don’t take our faith seriously.
Beautiful music doesn’t just happen. You can be saved through faith and a few simple words, but a close relationship with God takes time. Are you really passionate about your relationship with Him? Are you dedicated to following Him? Are you motivated to make everything you do for Him? When you can say yes to all of those, you are leading a life, not separated from Him, but one that is right by His side.
Just like how I often play a sour note on my guitar, we will sometimes stumble in our walk with God. But unlike any earthly thing, He will be there to pick us back up.
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