As a young music student (trumpet then later French horn), I learned the significance of repetitive practice. At first, I practiced simply to ensure the correct notes were played based on the key signature and that the correct “value” was given each note based on the time signature in which the tune was written. Later, practice helped me memorize the piece and experience a near-oneness with the composition. This sense of “near-oneness” also came about through understanding more about the composer and period in which the piece was written.
Another significant aspect of practicing was that I learned to focus on the “trouble spots.” That is, in order to master and perfect a piece, one MUST consider the errors and faults committed during his/her attempt to perform the piece. As a result, some of my practice sessions merely reflected repeated attempts to perfect one measure or a few measures of the music where there was an abrupt shift like a key change or a time signature change. Sometimes the issue was that the note I needed to play was one that required me to build my embouchure (facial muscles) a bit more in order to attack the note correctly without being too sharp or too flat. In either case, I had to confess the problem and address it accordingly in order to fulfill my purpose, which was to master the piece I practiced.
I ran into a buddy I’ve met since living here in California. He’s a truly nice and witty person…intelligent beyond belief and knows sports stats from decades ago specific to baseball, basketball, football, and some hockey. I mean this guy’s memory is literally off the charts. The issue that he faces, however, is that he binge drinks—usually after a long period of being clean, sober-minded, and on a path to prosperity seemingly.
A few weeks ago, he just disappeared, and I did not see him around. There were a few whispers circulating about his reunion with his family in San Diego—family with the same demon he faces. By God’s grace, I saw him today, and—though he was a little dirty-looking and not as bright-eyed as usual—I still acknowledged him effortlessly as I do always. He acknowledged me likewise.
During our brief exchange, he mentioned that I never judged him and that he felt good talking to me. He also mentioned a specific occurrence when I encouraged him not to fret about a situation and to simply trust God. Of course, because the situation was handled according to God’s will, it worked out just fine for him. He remembered and acknowledged this. I then looked at him said, “You know? God is faithful.” He said, “Yeah, I know.” I then looked at him again and said, “No, He is TRULY faithful.” From that point, I encouraged him to talk to God about that which he desired out of life according to God’s will and to allow God to bring it to fruition.
The message is this: there are times that we WILL make the same mistakes repeatedly, but we must first CONFESS the issues in order to ADDRESS the issues. Each day we are to PRACTICE overcoming the “trouble spots” within our performance so that at some point in our lives we can can finally look back and say:
I mastered that piece.
Practice for the Perfection of Your Life’s Purpose!!! And by all means, get to know the COMPOSER of your life, Jehovah!
In Jesus’ name, Amen!