Monday, March 15, 2010
I have been playing piano for years, did the whole piano lessons- can sight read with the best of them-but have no ear at all-hardly have any rhythm either.
I evolved into playing keyboard for our church for the shear fact I was better than NO keyboard player- after looking at the vacant keyboard as the guitars and drums tried to belt out enough music for about a month.
With the help of my sister, as much of a natural musician as I am an artist, I learned chords-meaning if they were written on a piece of music I could hit them-and started playing with a band.
Here is the key- ( little music pun)- I have to have a very strong musician to follow and then I can do my chord changes, get the rhythm almost-but it is 80% by watching.
Luckily I have a great musical leader in our lead acoustic guitar player who just happens to be our pastor and a really nice guy, who keeps an eye on me, sense we are not talking subdued church music but electric guitars, bass, drums, bongos, three singers on mics....and ahhhh me trying to keep up-with true musicians who are sooooo easily sidetracked in to rapping out, freeform playing- at the first sign of a chord progression that reminds them of a tune from the 60's or 70's.
Mike makes sure I am not left behind- that I have the right chords, that I understand the song progressions, etc. and in play, I can watch him, when his fingers slid down the frets of his guitar to a new note, I move mine, since a wrong chord on an electric keyboard is pretty loud! And when I do mess up, he hears it and kindly points it out to me in a way I understand and the next time through, makes his chord changes even more obvious so I can get it right this time.
The idea of "Following" has its merits. To ride on the wings of someone who has it "all under control", has the skills to get it done and makes all the decisions- it can be a very safe place to be.
The idea of "Following" also can be distasteful, the whole idea of dominance and control. So one better make darn sure the leader they are following is worthy.
The Bible has many ways to describe the idea of "following"- Abiding in the vine, hiding away in protective branches of Christ. The Old Testament talks of the chicks hiding under the protection of their mother's wings and the idea of "Camp"- those residing in the protection of God being in the camp and those who have chosen not to "follow" being out of the camp.
My favorite is from Isaiah- " but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." 40:31
Just like the geese in the air, take turns in the lead- allowing the others to abide in that place the air resistance is less-or bikers in the Tour de France to do the same- being right behind a strong leader ain't that bad of a place to be.
The key- as described best by the baby chicks, who run back and forth to the safety of their mother- is it must be the followers decision to be in that place, with the freedom to leave it- making it not about dominance and control.
I chose to follow Mike and I chose to follow Christ- who has taken me place on the "Wings of Eagles" and though I often wander off, just like the chicks, I can run back to that safe place where the air resistance of the World is a little less.