Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.
- James 1:21-24
I'm a music teacher. And there are many times, once a student has done the work of learning notes, words, fingerings, terms, and more, that they just need to stop thinking and do it. They need to get out of their minds and into their hearts in order to make it to the next level of musical expression. It is the same principle in sports. Athletes need to do the same thing in order to run a 4-minute mile or a marathon. And only the few who can get beyond the fear actually achieve those hurdles.
Recently, a friend asked me to work with his son who was auditioning for a part in a musical. He had 16 bars to prove his worth. Dad had helped him learn the notes and the words, but they were both stuck on making it work. We talked briefly about what needed to be done physically to make the sound happen, and the son understood what needed to be done, but the kid wasn't doing it. He knew he could and he wanted to, but he couldn't get out of his own way.
I told him that no matter what I did, he had to keep singing. We started and I pushed him in the chest and told him to risist, all the while he was singing. I tried like hell to push him over and he pushed right back. He began making some glorious sounds he had never made before. Dad was dumbfounded. And so was son. It wasn't too high. It wasn't too hard. It was just too scary. All I really did was make him think about something else. I made him get out of his own way. It was in him all along.
Nadia Boulanger was a famous French music teacher who coached a number of American composers of the Twentieth Century. She once said that her only job was to turn on the light and ask why the student couldn't turn it on for himself. She knew that her students possessed everything necessary to succed. They just needed to get out of their own ways.
The word is already planted in us. We know what needs to be done. But we are afriad. Afraid that we don't know the notes. Afraid we will make a mistake. Afraid that if we run a mile in six minutes that we have failed. Afraid of the judgement of others.
Funny thing. My oldest son seems to know the truth. Shortly after discovering Power Rangers, he made a note for everyone in the family. It was a few years ago, and I'm not sure how his brother's note survived the piles of paper in the house. But he knows that hope is in his brother. It is in you, too.