Originally Written for 2/21/10
I’m assuming most of us in here have spent at least some time this past week watching the Winter Olympics this past week. I know I’ve enjoyed the brief time I’ve spent watching the skiers, skaters, and snowboarders as they demonstrate their skills and talents. I’m amazed by the dedication these people have shown over the years (their entire lives for many of them) at a chance to compete in an event that – in some cases – is literally over within just a few seconds.
There are so many parallels that this shares with us as musicians and disciples it’s hard to figure out exactly what to write. So let me just mention a couple…. First, they never gave up – some of them that I saw this week had suffered incredible physical setbacks in just the last few months – from speed skaters who had sliced open legs to skiers with shin problems and even those who fell on the mountain and then got back up during competition. They never gave up.
As musicians we practice every week to prepare music that will be over in only a few minutes of a service. Yet we practice faithfully, just like these athletes. And, like these professional athletes, we sometimes struggle and make mistakes. The important thing to remember, though, is to continue working, studying, practicing, and then giving our best.
As disciples there are even more important parallels, though. Not only in regards to our struggle to do well and follow our Lord, but also in the amount of support those athletes receive. Each one has a coach, mentors, friends, and family members there to support and encourage them. They have people who sponsor them and provide equipment and income so they can dedicate themselves to the mastery of their art. No one does it alone.
Yet too often as disciples we think we can do it alone. We don’t become involved in and engaged in small groups (like Sunday School, Bible study, or even Choir); we come to church once a week but then leave and never talk with anyone about spiritual matters until the following Sunday; we don’t bother to meet with others for prayer and accountability, to be mentored or to mentor someone else.
But those matters are at the heart of discipleship and the Christian life. Just like athletes can’t win on their own and musician’s can’t master their art on their own, so we as Christians can’t expect to fully develop into the persons God wants us to be without the support, encouragement, and accountability of others in the church.
Who’s on your team?
Who’s team are you on?