“Have you been listening to a good recording of this song?” asked my daughter’s piano teacher during her lesson this week. My daughter looked up at her with a sheepish grin. “I haven’t, ” she replied. “Well you need to find a good recording of the song and listen to it, and watch videos of professional piano players so see how they play,” her teacher instructed her.
As I sat there listening to their conversation, I had one of those moments where I just shook my head and thought, “Why do I keep forgetting to do this?” This is not the first time I have heard this advice from one of my children’s teachers. It makes perfect sense. Whether it is the piano, cello, violin, or harp, you must know what good music sounds like in order to play good music! To know what good music sounds like, you must watch and listen to those who make good music.
The ironic thing about the question my daughter was asked is the song she was playing was not new to her. In fact, I think she has been playing the song for about a month. In the beginning she would listen to the song, however once she thought she knew the piece well, the practice of listening stopped.
She figured why would she need to listen if she had the piece down? One reason is that if a musician isn’t careful, they can begin to play a new, incorrect version of the song. The change usually isn’t a big. Often times the change is a very subtle one. However, if the music is not constantly compared to the original, a wrong note can creep in or a rhythm can be slightly altered.
As I thought about what it takes to make beautiful music, I thought about my spiritual life. How many times do I live hoping everything “looks good” without truly knowing the one I am imitating? Do I spend time listening to the Lord and watching what He is doing? Am I constantly looking for areas of my life that don’t line up with the word of God? Do I imitate the way Jesus lived His life on earth? Do I love like He loved, pray like He prayed, and rest like He rested? Have a reached a point where I think, “I don’t need to listen because I have it all down?” If we aren’t careful, bible verses can become so familiar that we miss the lesson and intent of the verse. We can even believe we are living correct, only to realize somehow we let sin in that has now affected our life!
Just as my daughter needed the simple reminder to listen to what she was playing, I know my spiritual life needed that reminder as well!
Some verses to get you started when it comes to imitating Christ!
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
I’m giving you a new commandment to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,
bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.