Tuesday, February 8, 2011

His instrument, His song

[This post is part of a group synchroblog. This month the bloggers will share stories related to Creativity & Christianity. Check out the awesome blogger's links below!  I will add to the list as they come in!]

I have had quite a few art forms impact me in the last 5 years.  However, recently, I have been really amazed and blessed through music.  Mainly because I have been able to work with an amazing keyboard and vocal coach.  A coach that is able to "see art" and potential in me and help bring that to the surface and, a coach that is able bring life lessons into each session.
Initially when I started playing my keyboards I was really nervous.  I hammered away at arpeggios and scales with hesitant starts and stops, no rhythm and varied volume.  I tended to be too hard on the keys and always getting ahead of the recommended time signature.  Unfortunately, not too uncommon as to how I can live my life.  I tend to be a little too hard on myself (friend's feedback), hesitate because of fear and try to get ahead of God's time signature.

The good news, my keyboard playing has become more fluent and more in time with the beat!  Why?  Well, it's because of one thing...practice.  A word that I believe He is encouraging me to learn in life too.  Practicing giving and receiving grace.  Practice "pressing in" and taking risks.  Practice waiting on God, letting go and allowing His timing to unfold.

More recently in one of my vocal lessons, my coach was working with me on placement of my voice in my head(or outside of it) to produce the desired sound with the correct volume and the most efficiency of my breath.  She proceeded to tell me a story about one of her more advanced students.  She told me that he had an amazing session in which he hit everything perfectly and then realized exactly JUST how powerful it was.  It was a time that musicians experience that really keeps them hooked...and, where it often becomes VERY spiritual in nature.  It was a time of 100% complete surrender and, as my vocal coach put it, a surrender in allowing God to "play the instrument exactly how it was intended to be played"...God's spirit singing through this student and producing His sound...perfect.

So, while practice does help, I believe surrender has to play a part.  Surrendering our lives and allowing Him to sing His song in us, over us and through us!  That piece I'm still learning too.  Practice and surrender.  Two very tough lessons.  Two that I pray become part of my keyboard playing, singing...and, part of my life.  Practice can seemingly keep us heading in a direction towards perfection, improvement and growth.  But surrender, I believe can balance that out.  A balance and a knowledge of the fact that we can only improve if it is Christ living in and through us, making even our "mistakes" look beautiful...washing away our sins!  Allowing us to grow without being too hard on ourselves!

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.
Art is knowing which ones to keep." - Scott Adams

I just believe that if I can continue to remember these things and apply them to life, I will be able to be His instrument, His song.  And, to be His instrument exactly as it was intended to be played.  A total surrender to Him, allowing whatever art form to be released!  Allowing Him to live, play, paint, speak, write, act, sculpt and sing through me!  I also believe this will allow me to see the real beauty and art in myself...and, in others.

Links to Synchrobloggers below:


  1. good post. i have always felt i was completely devoid of any thing that remotely resembled art. but in this season of life God has shown me i might have some ability to express my life through the written word. so i will try and let Him bless my through my new found art form. maybe old dogs can learn new tricks.

  2. I LOVE your writings, Mike! I'm ready for the "ol' Refugee" blog! ;-)

  3. Beautiful, beautiful post - and of course it "resonates" with me because I, too, play both piano and sing :)

    Thanks for sharing, Tammy!

    1. Thank you for reading, Julie Anne! Yea, even though I'm a beginner, I LOVE playing my keys...very therapeutic!