In the middle school I went to students had two options: 1. Sing in the choir or 2. Play in the band. I choose band and my thoughts drifted me into dreams of being Kenny G. In that dream, I could play a continuous note on the sax because like, Kenny G, I mastered breathing in through my nose while still playing the instrument. Yeah, that was a skill I wanted.

But I got my grandmother’s dainty hands – with unusually long skinny fingers. They were not big enough to play the sax. So, I got stuck with the typical instrument for a growing-into-her-hips-middle- school-girl: the flute (at least it was bigger than the oboe).

I stunk at it. My teacher was mean, I didn’t do the homework, and unfortunately she wasn’t intimidated by me so she kept making me play in front of the entire band. I stopped exerting effort. It was too hard. I was too embarrassed. I sat last chair in the entire district.

Any student was accepted in the band (hence how I was able to get in). But in some crazy plan to get better, I was actually supposed to exert effort and practice so I could play Hot Cross Buns in 4/4 time. I was supposed to do work to improve.

Is that how the spiritual life works too? God invites anyone into relationship with God but there’s actually some work required for us.

Grace not opposed to effort. Grace is opposed to earning. –Dallas Willard

I’m practicing. I’m working on getting better in really following Jesus. I’m exerting effort knowing that there’s nothing I can do to earn God’s grace.


Post a Comment