Practice, Practice, Practice

2 Apr

Thursday,  Active study            

Do you remember the old joke of a woman asking a man, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”, he replies, “Practice, practice, practice.”

I wonder why we so often forget that this is the answer to many of our faith questions.  Our faith journey is like anything else that we value in our lives, it is something that we need to work at so we can grow and find joy; like parenting, like a good marriage, like a talent that we enjoy.

So, Ezra has set out to be a teacher.  To find his joy the the law of the Lord and pass it on to those around him.

Ezra 7:10   10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel.

I don’t know if you have read the book of James, but it is full of wonder wisdom to live by.  If I could just manage to do verse 19, I would be in better shape.

James 1:19-25  19 You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. 21 Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.23 For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; 24 for they look at themselves and, on going away,immediately forget what they were like. 25 But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.

My mother wanted all of her kids to learn piano.  I did not enjoy sitting down to practice for my lessons and never really learned.  I am aware that even though it is not a gift I have, that had I been willing to practice, at least I would have been able to play piano today.

So often we wait for “the spirit to move us” and try with fits and starts to walk our faith journey.  I think the reality is, that we grow in faith when we practice, practice, practice.  Trying to live in our lives the instructions we find in the Bible and from others are further ahead of us on the path.

I pray today that we will practice some part of our faith:  Quick to listen and slow to speak; being patience when we are hurried; returning harsh words with kind ones.  There is so much to practice – but we have a life time.  Peace

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