Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pressing On to Gain the Prize

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Philippians 2:12
[ Pressing on Toward the Goal ] Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Its been about 4 years ago that I was at a big Christian women's conference. I was new to the area and didn't know many people. I was kind of fearful about having to drive in the city to get there. Some one at my church had given me the tickets that were certainly more than I could have afforded at the time. I remember sitting alone among a sea of people and feeling out of place.  I did my best to listen and I was trying to hear what God was saying in and through the experience.  There was one point that I know I heard God clearly speak to me that I needed to take piano lessons from a particular woman at church. That was the main message that I took home from that event. I followed through and started taking piano lessons. I never imagined it would be so difficult an instrument to master. I guess I kind of hoped that God would zap me with some special giftedness and before I knew it I would be playing inspiring music.

Piano has been good for me on a number of levels. I tend to be very scattered and overly creative. Piano requires a much more linear thought process. It requires tremendous focus which is another area that I struggle. It has kept me connected to a wonderful friend and prayer warrior.  It has spilled from me to my kids who now take lessons as well. We all struggle through trying to be faithful to practice, and the nerves of playing for recital. Its been an amazing addition to my life.

Often the things that God calls us to do take way longer to accomplish that we ever imagined starting out. My goal on piano is to be able to write, arrange and play the music I hear in my head.
I am beginning to be able to do that but is still very difficult and takes lots of work.  I was pretty excited that I have been able to take the song I wrote recently called  Wash Over Me  - which is posted in the "My Music Room" page if you missed that post. I was able to arrange a version of it for piano. I made a video to send to my first piano teacher and dear friend from about 30 years ago. It took me at least 13 tries to get the video I did send. It still has mistakes and I still can't sing and play it at the same time.  It is at best a work in progress - like our verse today say - I keep pressing towards the goal.

I don't know why exactly God spoke so clearly to me about taking piano lessons. I do see some of the fruit that it has produced in my life and I am thankful that I have undertaken this journey. I do hope to at some point be able to post things that I have written or arranged for piano and be able to play them with out it being such a struggle. I still have a way to go but I wanted to share my feeble piano attempts with you - mostly to encourage you to keep at the difficult thing that God has called you to accomplish.

Well it is music lesson day and I am off and running. 

Dear Lord, There are some thing that you have called or inspired us to do that have turned out to be harder and to take much longer than we ever thought.  Thank you for the character you are building through those things. Help us to grown in obedience, faithfulness and stick to it ness.

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