Mar. 18, 2016

Bus Station

Wisdom is the ability to discern difference ... the difference in a moment, the difference in countenance, the difference in people, the difference in environment, the difference between a good decision and a bad decision.
There are times when our wisdom, this ability of ours, is challenged, even sorely tried, as we try to move forward in realizing our dream with organ playing.
Sometimes we're faced with a decision that has us in a temporary quandary about what to do, for example, to whom we need to be going for guidance, coaching, or instruction, what it is exactly we need to be studying, practicing, or writing, where we need to go to find and receive the materials and methods we've got in mind to do these things, how these foundations will be laid, and, once in place, how we're going to hone that around, how we're going to do some different things, how we're going to add in new concepts, when we're going to schedule it all, what we're going to do about having regular access to a personal practice instrument of appropriate size and sufficient tonal spread, and even why we're trying.
It can leave us feeling like we're trying to carve our way straight through a mountain using nothing but a pocketknife.
The challenge we face, especially when we come from a disadvantaged background, can seem astronomical.
We may already have some sort of instrument on which to practice and know some of what we need to concentrate on to improve our practicing, our performing of repertoire, our improvising, or to begin our writing, but it can still leave us wondering what in the blue blazes we're going to do about it.
At some point, if we're religious, we begin praying about it.
We ask God to tell us what we need to do.
We're like the man who's sitting alone in a bus station, waiting and waiting for God to tell him which bus to take.
His premise of going to God in prayer is admirable and good, of course, but generally, in this situation, he winds up sitting there a long, long time.
Not because his prayer wasn't heard, but because God expects people to participate in their own destiny and demonstrate a modicum of faith (confidence in God) before He moves to act.
It would have been better, if the man in the bus station were to make up his mind to set a destination for himself, pick out a bus and a driver that he thinks will get him there, get aboard that bus, and ask God to safely guide the way and make up for what the driver may not know, then (and this is critically important) finish his prayer by thanking God for it.
This thanking of God, believing that the problem is already solved, is a demonstration of faith.
THIS is what gets the Lord on the bus with us.
God doesn't respond to pain. He doesn't respond to fear. He doesn't respond to trouble, in and of itself. He's never responded to heartache. He only responds to faith.
Faith is what moves His hand.
It's better therefore, instead of asking God to tell us what we need to do or play or practice or write or what to study or who to study it with, to accept the burden for decision making ourselves, focus on specific goals and objectives, tools, persons, places, instruments, books, and pieces, start connecting with those things, and then ask God to make up the difference, trusting Him that He will, and THANK HIM FOR IT.
If we desperately need a step up instrument to make further progress, we need to go to God in prayer, first thank Him for all the many blessings He's already sent, then explain to Him what it is we need and why we need it, that it will open up a whole new universe of study and help us become whatever it is He wants us to become, that it will all be for His greater glory and that of His Son, then THANK HIM for solving this puny little problem of ours, knowing and believing that our petition has gone up and the answer is now signed, sealed, and on its way down, from above.
Nothing leaves heaven until something leaves the earth [ See blog, Seed ].
This is the prayer of faith, when we thank Him for sending the solution and believe that it's already on its way before it ever arrives.
THIS is what moves His hand.
The proof of this is sitting today in one of the rooms of my home [ See Home Page ], where any doubting apostle is welcome to come and put their hand into its side and believe.
It's about the power of prayer, but not just any prayer.
It's the prayer of faith.
It's an eye opener.
And it works, each and every time.