The warm wind reminds me that spring is here. Grass is greening up and getting tall enough to mow. Green buds are forming on the tree branches. Peeking out from the heavy, stalk-like leaves are the delicate heads of tulips. Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday have been celebrated.
Sometimes all that activity leads to the doldrums. A flatness of spirit, a regret of returning the sameness of work, a physical need to recuperate. So this morning as I walked, prayed, and meditated, I asked God to challenge my everyday, habitual way of thinking about Him and my relationship to Him throughout the day.
Last winter, while reading “Practicing the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence I was struck by one sentence. “…and yet I must tell you that for the first ten years I suffered much.”
Ten years? Ten years! Learning to practice the presence of God takes TEN YEARS!?! Actually ten difficult years and then who knows how many more. In some ways it was an encouragement that learning to walk with God takes time. Sometimes, though, it seemed like I’d never get it right.
So I asked for a little jump start in my relationship with God.
Since I subbed the first part of the day, my mind was distracted. Frankly, I nearly forgot that I had asked God for anything special.
After doing a few errands and exchanging pleasant words with others that were out along the way, I went to teach piano lessons.
Private piano tutoring is intense for me as I listen, watch, diagnose, create open ended questions, and help fingers and wrists form good positions. Re-teaching is vital to a solid foundation of musical vocabulary and learning.
And then it hit me, there with my piano student, asking them to point to the time signature. God answered my prayer.
Using my own voice, He reminded me that if I need to re-teach piano vocabulary, I might expect to have His lessons repeated every so often.
Brother Lawrence helped me see that it takes time, even with great diligence to sense the nearness of God while daily life unfolds.
My student helped me see that re-visiting topics and lessons is what it takes for me to learn a concept deep in my sub-conscience. Just like my students, my own learning is like a circular stair-way, taking the same idea repeatedly, but adding more layers of richness and fullness as I learn a lesson one more time.