Friday, January 22, 2010

Playing By Ear

Before Christmas break my granddaughter, Paige, tried out for the Advanced Recorder Ensemble at her Elementary School. She failed to make it, but the teacher instructed her to learn to read the music instead of playing "by ear," and she would be invited to join.

Paige was disappointed believing that she knew the songs and she knew how to play. She was ready to give up her dream of playing with the Advanced Ensemble. Her Mom insisted that she could learn to read the music and pass if she would only try. Mom was right!

Paige came home after her second audition glowing in success! We were cheering for her and getting the call that she had made it was a relief and a sense of pride in her accomplishment.

I remember well the music teacher that pushed me aside because I played "by ear" and I sympathized with Paige, but I also knew that reading music was not that hard and she could do it. I was so happy for her!

Yesterday I had a chance to speak to a composer I know, and told her the story about my music-loving, song-writing granddaughter. She looked at me aghast hearing her saga, and softly said that she, too, played by ear as well as by reading the music. Her confession made me think.

As Christians, we must play "by ear" as well as read the music, so to speak. Faith is playing it by ear. Faith comes by hearing the word of God! It is the only way to please God and so our lives our played out "by ear." But we must also read the music. Reading God's word is like reading the composition He has written for our lives. It is God's opus and we would miss so much of what He offers if we fail to read His music!

Faith without knowing the Word can only go so far. Reading the Word without faith is nothing but a nice story. We need both faith and the Word to live life in harmony with our Creator!

Father God, Thank You for teaching me how to play by ear. Thank You, also, for giving me Your Word! Your gifts are always perfect! And Thank You, Lord, for letting Paige learn music in both ways!
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