Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Why I Hate Piano Lessons

I've had two months of piano lessons and I have a confession. I hate piano lessons. 

Wait, what? 

Just hang with me for a minute, ok? I took piano lessons for several years when I was in elementary school. Then I didn't play until five years ago. I started playing again as an adult when I was pregnant with Micah. For the past five years I've been working along with some help from my pastor's wife. 

Then I started taking lessons. And you know what I found out? I'm worse than I thought I was. Now understand I wasn't laboring under any delusions about my abilities. But the things I only thought were wrong before I KNOW are wrong now, along with a few others. It's uncomfortable. 

That's where I want to be because that's where growth can happen. If you don't know what you need to work on, you can't work on it. If you don't know where your weak areas are you can't get any stronger. I've known for a while now that I needed someone to tell me "fix this" and "work on that" when it comes to my playing. Now I have it. I don't take piano lessons to make me feel good about myself. I take them to make me a better pianist. 

When I went to my first lesson I decided I wasn't going to be (too) nervous about playing for my teacher. You know why? Because I'm not there to impress her. I'm not there for her to think I'm great. I'm there to learn. That's it. That pep talk really helped. Maybe you need it for something you are supposed to be doing and learning. 

There are three things I'm going to do for my piano lessons. 

1. Work hard. I'm going to work hard at my "homework." I don't get to practice a whole lot but I do practice regularly and I'll work hard at what I'm doing. 
2. Show up. I can't quit because it makes me feel uncomfortable. I can't quit because it was easier to think better of my playing before lessons. I have to show up to get better. 
3. Be teachable. I can't decide that my way is better or I don't need the help in certain areas. I'm there to learn. I'm there to be corrected and shown a better way. 

The same lesson is true for church. I could convince someone that piano lessons are still good for me even if they make me uncomfortable. Most people would agree with that. But it would be harder to convince someone that the same is true of church. We go to church for community and comfort and to make ourselves feel better. But what if that's not the point? What if the point is not to feel comfortable but to be uncomfortable? What if we should go to be confronted with our sin and corrected in life? 

That changes our attitude about church, doesn't it? Suddenly when the sermon pricks our hearts we can see that even though it's uncomfortable and it doesn't make us feel good about ourselves it is a very good thing. If we respond then we can be better than what we are right now. Not on our own certainly. But Christ lives in us and He wants to make us more like Him. That may mean scraping away ourselves so that there is room for Jesus. 

When it comes to life, get comfortable being uncomfortable. That's where you learn. That's where you grow. 

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