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So We Practice

Sounds, smells and feelings, laid down in memory as a child, are so powerful.

A whiff of eau de cologne can evoke a strong memory of Oma's handkerchief and Polo peppermints and lipstick the inside of Mum's purse. Paraffin lighter fuel--that would be Mum's apron pocket!

I have always loved listening to a piano being practiced and I think it goes back to happy summer days in Holland as a child, at Oma's. I would sometimes press against the screened window in the long, dark back room of her second storey flat, listening and looking for fascinating glimpses of the lives of people I would never know; the people that lived in the flats bordering on the courtyard. The old, tall Dutch houses created a barrier from the city sounds of traffic and trams, and made the sounds from within the courtyard echo louder : The wind in the trees, snatches of conversation, the chirping of birds; someone behind an open garden door practicing the piano...

So now, when I hear my granddaughters downstairs practicing their piano, I often cannot resist the urge to slip down and sit on the stairs. I listen with all the appreciation of a season ticket holder and applaud their efforts with enthusiasm.

They were practicing a duet tonight; sisters, so alike in appearance and as close as peas in a pod. They are like wind and fire, these two, with personalities as different as their features are alike, but they love one another fiercely.

I listen to them learning the duet. They go over and over the first few bars. Tiffany-Amber is relaxed and laughing. Music comes easily to her ear, if not her eye. Victoria is intently concentrating on the music. Their differences so evident. I love watching them as well as listening.

They make mistakes and stop, starting over and persevering, working together and yet having fun.

I think of how much their practice reflects life. We practice. If we're wise we read the music and we get the first few bars down pat after a while. We go further and clumsily mess up again, our fingers hitting wrong notes or with the wrong timing. We try over and over again, getting further and further along in the score.

And then, if all of the right ingredients are there: the right music, practice, and perseverance, Life infuses our fingers and a beautiful melody from another Kingdom can be heard.

2 Timothy 2:14-15 (The Message)
14-15Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God's people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out. Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won't be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple.
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