I recently recalled visiting my sister many years ago. Elizabeth Jane (Libby), was an excellent pianist. “Gee Libby, teach me to play the piano…. how hard can it be…. I’m pretty coordinated.” Rolling her eyes, she agreed to give it a try. I’m thinking, who knows maybe I’m a prodigy and will immediately begin playing like Liberace. Well, she would begin to demonstrate some elementary chord and I’d jump in saying, “I got it, I got it, let me try…” I would botch it up and we would repeat the cycle. Pretty quickly she said, “that’s enough… that’s enough… I’m finished”. Patience wasn’t a strong family virtue.
Well that was the end of my musical career, yet I can play a version of “Joy To The World” on the piano….. and I can play Rossini’s “William Tell Overture” on my teeth. I’m serious…on my teeth, although I need a good microphone. Hmmmm, Maybe I am a prodigy.
Before this BLOG gets too far off the trail, there is a point I’d like to make. I find that I can be a “take it and run kind of guy… I’ve got this… I know what I’m doing… I can take it from here.” This approach can be a problem when dealing with things of the earth or with things of the heavenlies.
Reading about our Old Testament ancestors it seems that most of them tended NOT to check in with the Lord in order to get direction on the next steps in their various battles and this usually ended in disaster…. “I know what I’m doing, let me alone”. The exceptions, like Abraham and Joseph and Moses and Joshua and David, did seek the Lord for guidance and did well.
Jesus, even though the son of God, checked in frequently with his father to get the guidance he needed. He spent nights in prayer seeking the Father’s will. There’s that great line from the gospel of Luke where it says that “ Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52) Even the Lord grew in wisdom. He apparently didn’t have all the wisdom and understanding he needed from day one. The call for the church and for each of us as members of the church is to do the same…to ask guidance from the Holy Spirit. “Holy Spirit …. help me, show me the way, give me strength…am I going the right way…”
We can never say “I’ve got this….. I’ve got my marching orders and am good to go…. Lord, I don’t need any more guidance or wisdom or knowledge.” We constantly need to pay attention to the Holy Spirit as he leads us and shows us the way.
If the Old Testament giants needed to do this …. if the apostles and the church needed this …. if even Jesus himself needed this, then you and I should be quick to sit at the feet of the Lord and ask for help.
So, let’s not be dismayed if we find ourselves in a quandary , not knowing what to do…. unsure of the next step. We need to ask the Lord for help, for guidance and grace. This is how it’s suppose to work. Let’s pay attention and listen. Who knows? If I had paid closer attention to my sister, maybe I could have become a great pianist. Hmmmmmm ….. but then what about the BLOG. I think like Mary, “I have chosen the better part.”