recently i've been thinking on the practice of faith. le boy and i have been practicing our faith daily by doing a devotion over breakfast and ending with a short time of prayer. it has already blessed us immensely to meet with jesus and spend time thinking and praying about our lives and our days and our faith. and so this practice of faith becomes something we practice. and with daily practice we get a little bit better over time at turning, moment by moment to the lord for his guidance and grace.
|jesus calling : sarah young|
when i was a teenager i was very involved in music and spent hours on vocal practice and training. it was my routine to spend time each day after school practicing my voice. i would lose myself for a time in scales and exercises, in repeating difficult parts of a song, sometimes singing the same five tricky notes of a piece over and over until each tone was lodged in my being, until i knew the feeling of the music, of each individual note, right from wrong, in my body as it reverberated through my bones and hollow spaces - leaping up out of mouth and throat and filling the enormous front room of our house. a room that was rarely used for anything but music practice and receiving company. i was blessed by that space. by taking myself away from the daily requirements and losing myself, sometimes for hours, to simply creating music.
i also remember a time when i wasn't being diligent in my practice, competition was approaching and my cavalier attitude was not impressing my parents, marvellous in particular. and so i was gently, but firmly told that the hours and money invested in my training were being wasted. my teachers had taught, my parents had driven to lessons and listened to singing and paid for tuition, god had given me the talent, it was my responsibility to take all that had been entrusted to me and DO something with it. namely, make sure i was holding up my end of the bargain and practice!
and as i reflect on this practice of music, i realise there is so much in the experience that resonates with my practice of faith.
- you have to practice. you actually have to do something during the week between sundays
- warm-up are an essential aspect. i try to open my quiet time with a simple prayer, asking god to 'think through me and show me more of him.' at other times i write pages of my heart cries, trying to untangle a mess or learn a new lesson.
- there are tricky and difficult parts to this faith thing. there are lessons that i am taught yearly. there are aspects of my character being continually refined and slowly but surely these lessons begin to take root, begin to resonate with my soul, begin to feel right within my flesh. my countenance is changed as the spirit takes hold my weary bones and fills my hollow spaces and creates a new person bit by bit.
- having a space to create in is an amazing gift, and also removes you from everything else. by practicing away from the rest of the household i made the 'living room' my music haven. i hope to eventually have a space for quiet time in the spare room. until then i am going to create a small space in the living room, a place set apart. a place to meet with jesus.
- finally, it is my responsibility alone to practice my faith. my husband, my friends, my church or small group cannot do it for me. they can contribute to my faith, help me to grow and offer wise and godly counsel, but i along must reach daily for christ. and when i fall short, sometimes god is gently going to remind me that i am responsible for my faith.
if i'm honest my personal quiet time has been lacking this month. and i could excuse it with notions of busy-ness or travel or responsibilities at home and work. but really. really, what i'm saying is god is getting whatever time i can spare for him. not my best time, my 'spare time.' i am treating god like a hobby when i should be prioritizing him over everything else. but he is always gracious and he is reminding me that i alone, am responsible for practicing my faith. i'm praying that i learn this lesson again. i'm praying that you too learn day by day, how to practice your faith.