The music lesson

Sometimes it helps to remind ourselves that even when our spiritual progress seems slow, we are making progress!

AS a music teacher I enjoy seeing the progress made by students who are willing to put forth the special effort needed to play an instrument well. I remember one young man who wanted to develop his high range on the trumpet. He came into his lesson after several weeks of preliminary work and finally squeaked out that first high note. The squeak eventually became a sound, which later developed into a beautiful tone. At first, the effort to produce this note was tremendous, but as he continued to practice, the effort gradually diminished until he could play in the upper register with good tone and ease.

This experience gave me a new way to think of my relationship to God and my spiritual progress. Many times I have felt as if I were just squeaking through a problem. The months and even years of effort to see things with a more spiritual perspective have appeared to bring progress at a snail's pace. But I remember the day I commented to that same trumpet student about the tremendous progress he had made during the past several years. He turned to me with amazement written all over his face and exclaimed, "Really?" He hadn't recognized it himself. And so I have reasoned that perhaps many of us are as blind to our own spiritual progress. This blindness can lead to discouragement or even to our giving up the effort to know God better, heal disease, conquer sin.

A "Special Services" advertising bulletin
March 27, 1989

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