Saturday, November 5, 2011


Yesterday I had a band practice for a certain event. A beginner, Amy is the drummer in the band and incidentally my second apprentice. Since she never had proper musical training, obviously music-related skills do not come to her as naturally as they to me. I'll explain. When she plays the drums while following the music and singing along, she somehow cannot play according to the beat and right timing; she just goes off. Therefore I suggested that she counts while playing and do not follow the music, and then she gets the beat right. It is ironic because as a member of the band, one should be following the music and song but Amy has to deliberately block out the music she is listening to and focus solely on counting so that the drums go according to beat. And it works! Of course this does not mean she does not listen to the music at all now that she is improving, but when it comes to more complicated parts of the song she still has to rely on counting and ignoring the sounds. It is a guarantee for her to play perfectly.

In day to day living, I find myself like her now and again. I find myself in the midst of thorns, being choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures (Luke 8:14). I know to live right, I have to ignore what is happening in the world around me and follow the principles I hold. Once I follow or entertain what is happening in my surroundings, I go off track and end up wasting time instead of doing what I should. I go off beat. Only when I isolate myself and stick to my principles will I be able to play according to beat - God's beat that is. To hear the word, retain it and by persevering produce a crop (Luke 8:15) are what I want to do. And it is no wonder that the word 'persevering' was used. Here's one definition of persevere: to maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.

So just as counting ensures accuracy in timing and beat of drums, the Word of God, the Bible containing God's commandments and instructions is what guarantees perfect and right living. Living in a world where you can see, hear and be influenced by everything around you, yet trying to set yourself apart or 'block out the noise' proves difficult, no doubt. But to persevere means much, and that with the strength God provides.

"I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them."

~ Jeremiah 32:39 [NIV]

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