Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bringing back the music

This morning, I sat down with a guitar as I waited to leave for the cross country meet. I plucked out the chords to a few praise songs ("I could sing of Your love forever", "How deep the Father's love for us") and sang along. As I played, I grew frustrated with the clumsiness of my fingers--the accidental extra string held down, the slightly-too-long wait time between chords as I tried to position my fingers, the clunky strumming pattern.

It's my own fault--I simply don't practice enough. I started playing guitar almost exactly two years ago, and I haven't improved much. That may have something to do with the fact that I make time to sit down and play only once every two weeks or so.

Music is a vitally important part of my life, and until I started working, I made adequate time for it. I took piano lessons in elementary and middle school. I joined choir when it was first available as an elective in 7th grade. That marked the beginning of 10 years of singing--learning to read music, learning to harmonize, singing for concerts, for musicals, to worship and even just for fun on my own as I drove way too fast down empty country roads with the windows down.

At one point in college, I was in Concert Choir, Kantorei (acapella chamber singers), the Canons (men's glee club), and taking weekly voice lessons. It's safe to say that I spent a noticeable percentage of my waking time making music. Often, when I wasn't singing, I was listening to music. I never thought twice about this--it was just the way things were; the way things were supposed to be.

It's only now that I realize how important a part of my life music played, and this by virtue of comparison. I still sing on my own occasionally, and I still listen to music when I can, but the opportunities to sing feel scarce. In the moment, it seems like there are so many other things that are more important than making time to sing, to play, to listen. "I'm too busy" too readily becomes a legitimate excuse not to make that time.

Why, though? Music brings me joy, and is a means of expressing my joy. It is the most natural way in which I worship (though I believe that any gift used for God's glory is an act of worship). One thing that I hope for my future is that I can foster a love for music within my family, that we can sing and play instruments together, just for fun. This means that I need to nurture my own love for music now. I can't let stress or busy-ness stand in the way--I need to do what I can to free up that time, even if it means giving something else up. Now... what can I do without...?

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