We just finished our first practice for our Christmas musical. First, I want to thank Cathy our Worship Leader for her desire to have a Christmas presentation and her hard work to make it all happen. The practice went great. It lasted a little over two hours and the time spent was worth it. We received our scripts a few weeks ago so we could get familiar with our parts and songs before the first practice. Being able to review at home helped, but it is not like practicing together and on the real stage. Practice is necessary before a performance. We all know that. We know the more time put in before the real thing will make the presentation more enjoyable, for everyone, audience and performers. Although we all agree that practice is important and are eager to get started when the idea is first launched, how excited are we when it is time to show up? The IDEA of practice stirs joyous anticipation, DOING the practice, not so much. Practice means work. It means time. It means adjusting schedules and adding to our already busy lives. But we know without it we will be lost. Yet we still resist. We push ourselves to show up but often we bring an attitude of, “It’s only practice, let’s get it over with.” For some reason, in that moment we convince ourselves that delaying is a better option. “The real thing is days or weeks away, I’ll get it down” is what we tell ourselves. We resist when we KNOW it will hurt us. Ok, maybe not hurt us, but it will definitely keep us from getting better, and isn’t that what practice is really about, getting better? We practice to get better. A practice is to take what we know and put it to action. We have all seen performances where there has been very little or no practice at all. It is not a pretty sight.
We know if we are going to be part of a musical we will have to practice our role. Do we ever apply that same realization to the role God has given us in life? Do we need to practice at life? Ever wonder why a medical doctor, a profession that requires more preparation in school than any other, calls his work a practice? It is because we all want doctors to keep learning. None of us want to go to a doctor that has been out of school for twenty years and has learned nothing new. We want the doctor that is constantly practicing. We should also want friends and parents and teachers and pastors that are always practicing. Practice is more than going through the motions. It is about trying out options, collaborating, adjusting, experiencing, discussing and then giving it a shot to see how it works. Sounds a lot like life doesn’t it? Our life is one long practice and if we go at it feeling like delaying is a better option, our performance will not be a pretty sight.