Sunday, August 31, 2014

Meet the Flintstones!

Our seven year-old has been taking piano lessons since late last year.  She has some musical gifts and we delight in seeing her develop them as she learns to play the piano.  Her teacher is very good with her and was able to recognize that our daughter has a good ear.  She tends to learn and play music as she understands the melody and harmony in her head.  The downside of that is that she sometimes relies on her ear to the point of not paying much attention to the notes that are written on the page.

One of the songs she learned was a simple version of the Doxology.  It has a easy melody and she was very familiar with it from singing it in church each Sunday.  After she learned it we invited her to play it one morning in worship.  While the notes were right, the tempo was much too fast for us to sing along with!

Over the past two weeks we have seen how hard it is to take a melody you know in your head and play it on the piano, paying it the way the notes are written and not the way your head tells you to.  The tune has been the theme song for the Flintstones, and learning it has been hard.      

If a person counts the notes as it is being played it seems like it should be easy. One, two, three, four.  One, two, three, four. 

It seems like such a simple melody, but it has a little quirk, a hiccup, that has made it a challenge.  Every once in a while the music has a place for a rest, a moment when the person doesn't play any notes at all.  And there is something about these rests that has made it a struggle.

We have tried a number of ways to help Kat learn this.  Sitting next to her.  Playing it for her.  Counting it out with her.  Changing the counting so that I say "One, two, three, four, rest, two, three four."  Slowly counting, while moving my finger to point out each note as I sing the melody.  The last method is the one that seem to have finally worked. 

This episode with the Flintstones reminded me of how important it is as a Christian to have someone we can turn to and help us understand things.  Sometimes this is just someone we can talk to, some who will listen to what we have to say and speak back to us with honesty.  Sometimes it is someone who has more spiritual maturity and wisdom, someone who can help us wrestle with parts of the Bible that may be hard for us to grasp.  There may be a section of the Bible that is calling us to act in a certain way, perhaps to forgive when forgiveness is the very last thing we want to do. 

We may not want to forgive and yet we sense that is what God may be calling us to do.  A friend who will walk us through a text, helping us to clearly see, phrase-by-phrase, word-by-word, what it is truly telling us, is a precious gift from God.  I have been blessed to have several of these friends in my life.  May God also provide one to you.

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