Worship from INSIDE-UPWARDS not OUTSIDE-INWARDS.
That means that we worship from INSIDE, with our hearts, as the MercyMe's "Hearts Sing Louder" says,"May our hearts sing louder than our voices, Jesus." We direct our hearts UPWARDS to God.
We don't worship by presenting OUTSIDE a quality product to be judged by human standards, like great art, whilst taking the pride in that great work INWARDS, feeling satisfied with the quality product and the praise that does, or should in our estimation, go with it.
(Now that I look at it again this reminds me of the Berenstain's book, Inside, Outside, Upside Down.)
I have heard many times the advice, "Don't practice. Perform!" That means that when you are in your practice room you should play just like you would if you were performing, so no slouching through things. That sounds like good advice, right?
Well, in my own playing I can say that advice made me really look at my practicing differently. I had a habit of timidly testing notes and not really trying with full vigor. In that way the advice was great because you cannot learn to do something with ease if you are being timid.
On the other hand, performing means some bad things as well. Performing can mean being fake. Performing can mean doing a task well to the expense of those around us.
Our aim in life should be to build our relationships with God and with others with love, so events are not about just about performing - getting it right, but about getting together, whether they are concerts, weddings, funerals or daily work... (Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV): Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”)
Let’s not perform in the practice room, but instead relate out of love to God in that time. Then let’s bring that loving relating way of being to our “performing.” This is advice for me and you can adopt it if you feel it fits you as well.
Here are some ways this performing instead of relating has worked itself out in my life:
I have shut others out while performing.
I have felt unreasonable performance anxiety in part due to this.
I have gotten upset when others make errors.
It creates performing hang ups that manifest as physical playing problems.
It takes me away from my loving Jesus.
It makes worship impossible.
It does not give the Holy Spirit a chance to move through me.
All the best,
The first thing to go is music. Schools run short on money ...no that's not really my topic. There is no doubt that music stretches developing minds, but I am really interested in motivation. If you are a musician (beginning to professional), why do you play? If you are a listener, and who isn't really, why do you listen?
There was a time that my main reason for playing music was to impress people in an attempt to elevate myself like the continuation of the type of self flattering speech I learned in my teen years. You know - where you say what you say to get people to think of you as larger than life. No doubt this is not a great reason for musical pursuits, but this blog will be honest and not self-aggrandizing, except for my occasional use of big words to make you think I'm intelligent.
So, why you play music or why to you listen? (Don't just write what you think people want to hear but be bold and dig deep).